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How Has Your Business Changed Over the Years?

Interviews by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

“Over the last couple of years our business made a change from in-person meetings to a hybrid mix. The new world we live in because of COVID-19 forced the agents to embrace technology in their marketing as well as how they interact with buyers and sellers. We are conducting showings virtually, virtually staging houses and using a platform for online signatures. Our meetings are a mixture of online and in-person.”

Eric Pedrotti — Licensed real estate associate broker, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, CNY Realty, North Syracuse and Oswego


“Chirello Advertising celebrates 27 years this year. Along the way, I’ve seen many changes in the marketing landscape. For print advertising and collateral, we’ve gone from reflective art to PDFs and from faxes to emails. While in-person meetings and discussion are more important than ever, we accomplish so much these days communicating with clients through our desktop, laptop or phone. The media mix has changed dramatically. The diversity of media and measuring its effectiveness has improved significantly. We have more marvelous options than ever to develop the right combination of media and public relations for each and every client. Search marketing, social media advertising and content management, streaming television and the overwhelming power of video across multiple platforms give clients tremendous clout in reaching and engaging with their audience. Through the years, it’s always been satisfying to find the right mix for clients and these days, it’s more fun and rewarding than ever.”

Steve Chirello — Owner, Steve Chirello Advertising, Fulton


“Since I have been in business in 1980, the real estate business has changed dramatically. The internet was huge with marketing all of our listings to potential clients. Over time, the cell phone has taken over as the way for agents to be their own mobile office. They can do everything right from their hand and don’t need to be tied to a desk all day long. Technology keeps changing my business every year.”

William Galloway — Broker/owner Century 21 Galloway Realty, Oswego


“My company, Women TIES, is celebrating 18 years in business on March 3. Since starting the company, I expanded it to include a division: The Women’s Athletic Network, which brings women entrepreneurs and women in business together to attend sporting or adventure events and network while doing them. The WAN celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with plans to expand the type of events and number of women attending them. I also added a Women’s Equality Division after taking 120 women to the Women’s March on DC in 2017 and continue to promote feminist agendas and female politicians who run for office.”

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham — Founder/president, Women TIES, LLC, Syracuse


“Since established in 1755, Fort Ontario has changed from soldiers using muzzleloading smoothbore muskets to muzzleloading rifle-muskets followed by breechloading single shot rifles followed by bolt-action, semi-automatic, and automatic rifles and since 1962 backwards to muzzleloading smoothbore muskets and rifle-muskets by museum staff.”

Paul Lear — Historic site manager, Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Oswego


“I graduated high school in 1977 and shortly thereafter began working roofing exclusively until the opportunity to buy the company and expanded it to include building, insulating, siding and windows. In 2002, I decided what I really wanted to do was become a developer and decided it must be in the city of Oswego only and started by purchasing the former Buckhout-Jones building as my first development. From there I was hooked, and realized I had a passion to create and change buildings. The ride has been crazy, but I would do it all again and look forward to the next opportunity. Oswego is incredibly beautiful and the opportunities still endless.”

Tony Pauldine — Owner Anthony M. Pauldine General Contractors, Inc


“The business of Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. has been impacted in several ways over the past few years. First and foremost, the COVID-19 pandemic while a significant challenge also provided opportunities to examine the way we conduct business on many fronts. The addition of virtual options in meeting with consumers has provided flexibility and added benefit to our consumers, particularly those challenged with reliable transportation. It also has provided opportunities for employees to work remotely. Second, the regulatory environment has significantly increased for nonprofits in general. Accountability and assuring compliance is critical and important as a nonprofit however, the amount of time and resources this now takes is not adequately funded by the same entities that require the additional accountability.”

Diane Cooper-Currier — Executive director Oswego County Opportunities, Inc., Fulton


“One thing that’s changed is now we’re veteran owned. After 25 years of serving in the US military, I own the hotel and run it full-time. It’s still a family-owned and family-run business. We try to accommodate everyone the best we can on a family and friends level.”

Robert Taylor — Owner All Season’s Inn, Scriba


“Since first opening in 1996 as a one-person operation, our business has grown to become one of the mainstays of the Oswego County and Central New York real estate business. We have listed and sold literally thousands of homes, lots, land and commercial properties. Our agents are skilled professionals who help people achieve the American dream of home ownership each and every day. We are proud to be a part of the Century 21 system and proud of the fact that we remain the most recognized name in the real estate business. Our geographic reach has been from up in the Adirondacks area to as far west as Buffalo, although the majority of business has been right here in Central New York. We have grown to two offices, one located in Fulton and the second located in Liverpool. We are excited about the future growth we see coming in the real estate marketplace as Micron moves into the area with its chip manufacturing facility over the next 10 to 15 years. This is truly an exciting time in this area.”

Leah Haggerty — Licensed real estate broker and owner of Century 21 Leah’s Signature, Fulton and Liverpool


“As you may know, Brewerton Boat Yard had been operated exclusively by the Carroll family since 1966. In October of last year, the Renslow family (owners of Oneida Lake Marina) took ownership of the Brewerton Boat Yard. No major changes are planned for the ship store, service department or marina operations. Additions will include pontoon boat rentals, and sales for Tahoe Pontoons and Lund Fishing Boats.”

Chris Renslow — Managing member, Brewerton Boat Yard, LLC, Brewerton


“Three years ago, Josh and Dustin Trimble wanted to incorporate their passion for cranes, rigging, machinery moving and hauling into a family business in Upstate New York. They started Trimble Services out of a storage unit at the Eis House in Mexico with the purchase of a Western Star tractor and a landoll. Josh is a seasoned crane operator with his NCCCO operator’s license and Dustin has six years of business experience operating the Eis House. The business also includes Barry with more than 30 years in the industry and Debbie who oversees the finances. Over the past three years, our fleet of equipment has grown to two tractors, five trailers, two cranes (60-ton and 170-ton), four forklifts, company truck and an assortment of rigging equipment. A year ago, Trimble Services moved to a terminal in Fulton. The business continues to grow and is building a satisfied client base.”

Debbie Trimble — Owner Trimble Services, Fulton