Category Archives: Milestones

Gagas named to Pathfinder Bank board

Adam Gagas
Adam C. Gagas

Adam C. Gagas has been elected to the board of directors of Pathfinder Bank, said  Chris R. Burritt, chairman of the board.

The election was effective as of the March 17 Pathfinder Bank board meeting.

Gagas is founder and chief executive officer of Breakwall Asset Management, LLC, a New York State registered investment advisor located in Oswego, New York.

“We are very pleased to announce the election of Adam to our Board of Directors,” said Burritt. “He provides our board with more than 15 years of experience in global financial markets, as well as expertise in asset management and property development.”

“Adam and the Gagas Family have been instrumental in the growth of Pathfinder Bank for decades, and we value the commitment they have always maintained for our Bank’s mission and strategic direction,” Burritt said.

Adam’s father, Chris Gagas, previously served as the bank’s president and CEO, as well as chairman of the board for 18 years.

Prior to establishing Breakwall Asset Management, Gagas was an analyst on teams managing multi-billion dollar portfolios at Skandia Asset Management and Principal Global Investors in New York City.

He was awarded an Alfa Fellowship and completed a yearlong professional placement as an institutional investment analyst at Alfa Capital in Moscow, Russia. He is also the owner/operator of Gagas Realty Corp., a multi-property commercial real estate holding company.

In addition, he is an adjunct instructor of corporate finance in the SUNY Oswego School of Business.

Gagas, who resides in Oswego, earned a bachelor’s degree from Hobart College with majors in economics and Russian studies, and a master’s of business administration degree with a concentration in finance from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.

His extensive community involvement includes serving as treasurer of Oswego Health, chair of that organization’s audit and investment committees, and as a member of the executive committee.

Gagas is also a board member of Oswego’s historic Riverside Cemetery, and has previously held leadership positions with the Oswego YMCA and Oswego Opera Theater.

Pathfinder Bank is a New York State chartered savings bank headquartered in Oswego, whose deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pathfinder Bancorp, Inc. The bank has eight full-service offices located in Oswego, Fulton, Mexico, Lacona, Central Square and Cicero.

2 join Child Advocacy Center

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Karrie Damm, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, said Jennifer Delles and Jamie Butler have been accepted as interns at the CAC.

Delles, a graduate student at SUNY Oswego, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Nazareth College and is pursuing a master’s degree in mental health counseling and certification in play therapy.

Butler, also a graduate student at SUNY Oswego, earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from SUNY Brockport and is studying for her master’s degree in mental health counseling and certification in trauma studies.

For Delles, her love of children made the CAC an easy choice for an internship.

“I always enjoyed working with children. I like everything about them; their energy, their enthusiasm, and the fact that they are so resilient. When my professor recommended the CAC for an internship I knew it would be a good fit for me,” said Delles.

While at Nazareth College Delles also served as an intern at the EquiCenter, a therapeutic horseback riding facility in Rochester.

At the EquiCenter, she worked with children with developmental delays and physical disabilities through the use of horses in a therapeutic setting.

“It was interesting to see them interact with the horses. I worked with them on grooming the horses, basic riding and horsemanship skills, games and other activities,” she said.

“It was cool to watch their progress and to see them transition from the ground to the horse. Once they were on the horse they sat up straight and lit right up, they loved being with the horses!” said Delles.

For Butler, her love of art and her concern for children came together quite naturally.

While working as an Ameri-Corps member at a school in Arizona, Butler was involved in program planning and events for children and their families. One of the experiences she had at the school had a significant impact on her.

“One young girl I worked with had several disabilities and found it difficult to connect with other people. When one of the other teachers realized this girl and I both shared a love of art she began sending her to my room,” Butler said.

“ She was very shy and had only drawn with pencils. I brought her some cool stuff to use and a sketchbook and we began spending time drawing together.  She eventually warmed up to me and spoke to me about her family,” she said.

“I really enjoyed working with her and it inspired me to go into the mental health field. I hope to incorporate art into what I do and eventually be certified in art therapy,” said Butler.

As interns at the CAC, Delles and Butler are involved with intakes and will be working closely with children, siblings and their parents.

They will assist in providing therapeutic intervention regarding all types of child abuse and their effects, safety and prevention education, and support to children during their recovery from the experience.

The opportunity to work with entire family unit is as an aspect of the CAC that greatly appealed both of them.

Delles and Butler began their practicum in January and will continue with their internships through the next three semesters.  Damm added the pair are a welcome addition as each brings with them their own unique strengths and talents.

“We are happy that Jennifer and Jamie will be serving their internship with us.  Their past experiences, their willingness to learn, and the compassion they have for the children and families we work with will serve them well,” said Damm.

Located at 301 Beech St., Fulton, the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County provides a wide range of free services to children who have been physically or sexually abused and provides a safe, child-friendly site for the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse.

For more information on the CAC you may contact them at 315-592-4453, visit their website at www.oswegocac.org, or follow them on Facebook.

Burritt Motors hires Backus

3-22_MILEbackusMorgan Backus joined Burritt Motors recently as a service lane coordinator, said business owner Chris Burritt.

“We’re delighted to add Morgan to our growing service team,” said Burritt. “This newly created position is going to pamper our customers by giving them and their vehicles the utmost personal attention right from the moment they drive into our service department.”

Backus will be in charge of greeting customers, inspecting their vehicles and giving them an overall “wow” experience by being extremely attentive and helpful, Burritt said.

Backus, from Mexico, has two years experience in the automotive industry. She  previously worked as a delivery specialist, certified tech expert and car and leasing salesperson.

Burritt Motors’ history dates back to 1955 in Hannibal when Chris’ grandfather, Elmer O. Burritt, purchased a Chevrolet franchise that he operated until 1963.

To expand in a larger market, Chris’ father, Richard, purchased the assets of a Chevrolet dealership that had been located on Oswego’s East Third Street. About a year later, he built the present dealership on Route 104, which underwent a $2.5 million expansion and renovation last year.

The dealership celebrates its 58th anniversary this year and can be reached at 343-8948, www.burrittmotors.com or www.themechanixgarage.com.

Cato man reenlists in military

Specialist Christopher Kulis from Cato has reenlisted to continue service with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 102nd Military Police Battalion in the New York Army National Guard.

Major General Patrick A. Murphy, the Adjutant General, announced the recent reenlistment an commended Kulis on his continuing commitment to serve community, state and nation as part of the Army National Guard.

For more information about the New York Army National Guard, visit www.dmna.ny.gov or www.1800goguard.com.

 

Sea Grant’s White receives Wear It! Award

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 21 recently presented New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White with its 2013 Wear It! Award.

The award recognizes excellence in teaching the public about life jacket safety.

Wear It! is a campaign of the National Safe Boating Council in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrations.

White has incorporated life jacket education into the award-winning Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign developed by New York Sea Grant in 2008.

The training covers the various types of life jackets, boating regulations associated with life jackets, and how to get a good fit for everyone in the family, including the family dog.

The Discover Clean and Safe Boating life jacket training is offered annually at the Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York-sponsored Boat Show in Syracuse, in February and at Empire Farm Days in the pond at Rodman Lot and Son Farms in Seneca Falls, NY, in August.

The Discover Clean and Safe Boating exhibit has been seen by more than 500,000 boaters and potential boaters and has visited major events in all of New York state’s coastal regions from New York City and the Hudson River to Oneida Lake, the Finger Lakes, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

The New York Sea Grant campaign has been adapted for boaters, anglers, the hearing-impaired, paddlesport enthusiasts, pet owners, and water rescue First Responders.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 21 Commander John Steinbarge presented the 2013 Wear It! award to White at the 2014 Central New York Boat Show.

Business owner earns county honor

Recognizing Oswego County has selected Thomas Abbott, owner of Abbott’s Tae Kwon Do in Mexico, as the Community Champion for February.

This month’s theme was indoor recreation/physical activity and the group received a rich slate of nominations that also included Burger’s Karate, the Oswego Boxing Club and the USS Truxton Sea Cadets.

ROC Co-Chair Brandon Morey commented that having four deserving candidates demonstrates the breadth of physical activity programming that is happening in Oswego County.

“Having great nominations makes it difficult to select a champion, but is great in terms of having options in the community for staying active, even in these long, cold winter months,” Morey said.

Recognizing Oswego County focuses on the positive efforts being made in the community. Each month, ROC uses this recognition effort as a platform for emphasizing the wonderful work that is happening in Oswego County to promote the health and wellness of children, families and adults.

Abbott opened his Tae Kwon Do school in February 2007 after being a student of the sport for many years. He recalled his first class as a student more than 20 years ago and how Tae Kwon Do has helped him become more self-confident and self-assured.  His goal in starting a studio was passing that on to his students.

“I see my students gain confidence, stand taller, speak up and say ‘yes sir’ and ‘yes ma’am’” Abbott said. He once had a teacher of one of his students tell him that she had noticed a change in the students’ behavior and focus in school. The teacher attributed these improvements in behavior to the Tae Kwon Do classes the student had recently started.

In nominating Abbott, Tammy Elowsky highlighted Abbott’s approach to teaching students through promotion of both physical and mental well-being. Elowsky also described Abbott’s activities that go above and beyond the day-to-day operation of a Tae Kwon Do school.

“He volunteers his time judging tournaments, helping other instructors perfect their skills in sister schools, pushing free instruction into the after school programs from time to time, and organizing fundraising activities for various causes,” Elowsky said.

Abbott said he also encourages his students to give back to their parents, peers, schools and communities by showing respect and through positive behaviors.

Students less than age 13 earn character stripes for showing initiative in helping others, logging extra reading outside of school, good character development home report card assessments from their parents, and exceptional grades at school.

Each month, ROC selects a theme and guest speakers are invited to share the good work they are doing. Nominations are also solicited from the community at large for Community Champions.

For March, ROC is seeking nominations for Community Champion for literacy awareness. Nominations are due by March 12 and can be submitted online through Recognizing Oswego County’s Facebook page or by email to bmorey@oswegocounty.com.

ROC members meet monthly from 8 to 9:15 a.m. on the second Thursday of the month at the Oswego County Federal Credit Union at 90 E. Bridge St., Oswego.