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Updated: Dec 28, 2023

IN 1987 JOHN CANDY, a popular comedian, starred in the hit movie Planes, Trains & Automobiles. In this issue of Strictly Business, we bring you our view of transportation in the North Country – Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and Trucks. Our cover article introduces you to three members of the Esposito family who are carrying on a tradition begun by their father. Together John, Richard Jr. and their sister Lisa LaFountain demonstrate how hard work, an enlightened management philosophy and a passion for trucking has created four decades of profitability. And if you are not familiar with the complicated history of trucking in America, make sure to read A Brief History of Trucking Transportation in this issue. Warren Tire, owned and operated by Ed, Barb, Jennifer, and Nathan Boyer has been a business staple in downtown Plattsburgh since the 1980s. While the name would have you think only of tires, the Boyers offer a wide range of services for auto and truck owners. Railroads were essential to growth in the U.S. in the 19th and early years of the 20th century, but fell out of favor as alternative modes of transportation emerged. However, the industry has experienced new interest as its low cost of moving product has been recognized. Learn about three North Country companies that utilize rail to their advantage. If you’ve ever wanted to ride a motorcycle you need to check out our article on the Northern New York Driving Academy. Owner Rick Poticker is not just a cycle enthusiast. He is a talented teacher who also offers classes in defensive driving, boater safety, in-car instruction, and pre-license classes. Plattsburgh International Airport hasn’t seen as many passenger departures during the pandemic, but interesting projects have been completed and a new fixed based operator has taken over. Since September of this year AvFlight, a company with 23 other airport operations, is now in charge offering ground transportation, rental cars, airplane maintenance, concierge and weather services. Don’t miss the company’s story. Also, in this issue Colin Read offers an historic look back at the evolution of transportation in the North Country – from Indians in birchbark canoes to test drives of the Terrafugia Transition Street-Legal Airplane on the former PAFB flight line. And then there is this month’s Insight article featuring Michelle LeBeau, president and COO of Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and president of Alice Hyde Medical Center. Michelle’s extensive experience in a wide range of health care positions has been an enormous advantage as the area struggles with COVID and all the issues it has created. North Country Chamber of Commerce president Garry Douglas wraps up this issue with a look at the Chamber’s strategic priorities for 2022 which are designed to benefit each and every business in the region. In summary, here are statistics you may find interesting. Trucks carry approximately 58 percent of the value of freight in the U.S., followed by rail at 17 percent and pipelines at 11 percent. Surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline combined carried 86 percent of the value of the goods businesses and individuals depend on. Their services are not just good for business, they are essential.

...and that's good for business.

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Michelle LeBeau

HOMETOWN: Plattsburgh, New York FAMILY: Partner Rick Breyette, five adult children, one grandchild EDUCATION: A.S. in Nursing from Clinton Community College, B.A. in Business and a M.A. in Human Resou


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