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Publisher's View

by Herb Carpenter

It has been 34 years since we hosted our first Strictly Business Forum. We wondered if the idea would be well received. It was and here we are.

Much has changed since 1990 and yet much remains the same. We have lost many of the people who participated in our first Forum – Senator Ron Stafford, banker Curt Shipman, accountant Dick Coffey, Georgia Pacific Resident Manager Joe Kertis, Powertex owner Victor Podd and more. At that first Forum, nearly 80 percent of the guests were men. At this year’s Forum more than 50% were women.

We lost Plattsburgh Air Force Base, but gained a number of new businesses – Norsk Titanium, Bombardier; now Alstom, Vapor Stone, the many expansions by Schluter Systems, and so many smaller businesses that flocked to the area to benefit from our growing transportation industry. And soon we will see the buildout of the BETA Technologies facility at the former Base.

Reviewing the January 1991 SB issue, I am struck by how relevant the comments still are.

“Business is the locomotive that keeps the economic train running, “ NYS Senator Ron Stafford.

“The Canadian Influence has always been a great factor, but now the city and town are an even greater draw because we have a lot of new retail,” Carolyn Harding, Marketing Director, Champlain Center.

“We are a capitalistic society. We’re money driven,” Chuck Currier, president, Twin State CCS.

“Economic development is on the verge of a huge growth spurt in the North Country,” Mark Barie, president, Champlain Development Corporation.

“Today’s farmers are much more educated and are looking at their farms as businesses,” Harry Randy, president, Miner Institute.

“Quality of life is the number one concern of people who are considering a move to this area,” Gil Duken, principal, Broad Street Elementary School.

“Customer service is important to us and the shareholder is the customer we have to please,” Joe Kertis, Resident Manager, Georgia Pacific.

I concluded my Publisher’s View in that first issue with the following comments.

The people who joined the Forum produced a level of discussion and degree of candor that is second to none I have ever observed. I invite you to turn the pages and study the comments of our North Country business leaders. They may well be different than what you expect. They are certainly optimistic and when you think about it, optimism is not only healthy...

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