December 20 2019

Week in Review: December 16- December 20, 2019


Stay up-to-date on business and economic development happenings in the Capital Region with the CEG Economic Development Week in Review. Don’t miss out on the developments that are transforming the region by following us on:


Times Union: Capital Region draws $84.1 million in regional development grants

SUNY Schenectady: SUNY Schenectady Chosen for New Google IT Support Professional Certificate


Empire BlueCross CEO: AI, new office buildings in Latham, and growth in the Albany market for 2020

“Alan Murray has spent the past year building a foundation for the growth of his health insurance company in 2020.

Murray started in September 2018 as the president and CEO of Empire BlueCross BlueShield, a New York subsidiary of insurance giant Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM), which is headquartered in Indianapolis.”

County awards $150,000 to SEDC ending six-year breakup

“The private economic development group that helped bring a computer chip factory, a hydrogen peroxide plant and distribution centers to the region will receive funding from Saratoga County government for the first time in six years.

The county board of supervisors last week approved $150,000 in funding for the Saratoga Economic Development Corp. that will begin next year.”

Lumberyard helps build legacy in films, furnishings

“Need some lumber for your next major motion picture? Or maybe a piece of a famous old bridge for some light hobby work? No need to look beyond a longstanding Albany County lumberyard.

Cooksburg Lumber in Preston Hollow supplied shredded bark to the art department producing the 2019 film “The Irishman,” timber used to construct gallows for the 2017 drama “The Greatest Showman,” and lumber to build animal enclosures inside the ark from the 2014 movie “Noah.””

Queensbury distillery plans expansion

“Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery is planning to construct a bigger building on its property to house a taproom.

“We’ve running out of space where we currently are,” said Matt Colucci, general manager.”

CommerceHub hires executive to expand its e-commerce business into direct-to-consumer brands

“CommerceHub has hired a new vice president to help the Albany-based e-commerce company attract more direct-to-consumer business customers.

The company hired Ranjit Mulgaonkar as vice president and general manager for marketplace and advertising services out of Seattle. Ranjit will be leading CommerceHub’s effort to support retailers, brands and distributors as they grow their direct-to-consumer businesses.”

Dominic Mainella still makes the bread — and cookies — at Bella Napoli

“Dominic Mainella and his three younger siblings — Geno, Victoria and Mario — run Bella Napoli Bakery, a business started by their parents, John and Phyllis, in Troy in 1957. They sell Italian bread, rolls, cakes, pastries and cookies at their stores in Troy and Latham, with about 100 employees. The business requires hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Dominic wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Scotia-Glenville sophomore’s candle business finds a home at local shop

“Plenty of millennials have taken part in the gig economy. Now, a local Generation Z-er is getting in on the action, too.

William Schnore, a 15-year-old sophomore at Scotia-Glenville High School, has been making candles under his brand Cellar Dweller for a little more than a year now, and thanks to a partnership with Anne Brenner of b.inspired, they’re selling like … well, you know the phrase.”

At the ‘Merc’ in Schenectady, something handmade for everyone

“ne-stop shopping doesn’t get any better than at the Merc. That’s the Mercantile on Clinton Street — home to 33 vendors who make all their wares by hand.

Where else can you find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts that range from handbags, leather books, jewelry, knit scarves, restored furniture, paintings and skin-care products to candles, hand-dyed silk wraps or wood wall art?”

Art Omi: Architecture announces 2020 residents and guest architecture critic

“Art Omi announces the 10 2020 architects selected for the 2020 Art Omi: Architecture residency. Now in its fourth year, the Art Omi: Architecture residency is the first and only of its kind in the United States, inviting 10 early- to mid-career architects from around the world to develop work during a two-week residency at Art Omi in Ghent. Described as “one of the world’s most inspiring design residencies,” by Artsy, alumni include architects from more than 10 countries.

The 10 architects selected for the 2020 cohort were chosen through a competitive juried process, and work on an array of scales and interests, including art, technology, design and urbanism. During their residency in February and March, they will have the opportunity to experiment, innovate, and brainstorm with peers in a studio think-tank setting.”

SPAC, local trail projects win big as part of $84.1 million state grant package

“In what’s become a new annual holiday season bonanza, localities across the Capital Region raked in $84.1 million in state economic development funding Thursday.

All told, the annual Regional Economic Development Council Awards distributed $761 million to 10 regions statewide.”


Funding Partners