Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Collins’

Learn to Make the Most of Facebook at the SBDC’s Women’s Business Bootcamp

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

The SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) spring Women’s Business Bootcamp Luncheon will feature a panel of local businesswomen who will be presenting “Best Practices for Facebook.”

The Business Bootcamp will be held from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, in the SUNY Canton Campus Center’s Woodcock Conference Suites.

Business Bootcamp Display

“Over the years we’ve found that our women entrepreneurs enjoy the opportunity to learn from one another at this event,” said SBDC Business Advisor and event organizer Michelle Collins. “The panel discussion will facilitate the sharing of ideas and strategies that will help develop or expand social media for businesses.”

Panelists will include: Jane C. Rue, of CJ Custom Creations; Patricia S. Kelley of Farrand’s Flowers and Event Planning; Erin E. Lassial of Coco Lassial Apron Co.; and Carol S. Pynchon of Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY).

The panel will share the Facebook strategies that have worked for them as well as challenges they’ve encountered with using social media to promote their business. The panel will be followed by a question and answer session and the chance for participants to share their own experiences.

The event will feature a delicious luncheon and the popular Mini Marketplace, a display area where attendees can sell their products or educate participants about their business in a small and intimate forum. Exhibitors in the Mini Marketplace will have a table for product displays and materials.

The event cost is $30 per person. Pre-registration is required. This includes the luncheon and panel discussion as well as a table for the Mini Marketplace and plenty of networking opportunities. To register, contact the SUNY Canton SBDC at 315-386-7312 or

About the Small Business Development Center

The SUNY Canton SBDC offers free direct counseling and a wide range of management and technical assistance services. Small business advisors help start-up companies develop business plans, assist existing businesses prepare to expand or offer resources for industry-specific topics. Business planning services are provided free of charge.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier College for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The College delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management, and public service to students in the North Country, New York State, and beyond. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to their academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as eight exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The College’s 14 athletic teams compete in state-of-the-art facilities as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.


SUNY Canton SBDC Offering Free Business Sessions in Gouverneur

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

SUNY Canton’s Small Business Development Center is arming local entrepreneurs and business owners with information and resources to help them succeed despite the country’s recent economic difficulties.

The Center (SBDC) has teamed up with the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce, the Gouverneur Area Development Corporation and the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce to host a series of informational breakfast sessions on a variety of business-related topics throughout June and early July.

The program is designed for current business owners and people thinking about starting a business in Gouverneur and the surrounding North Country communities.

“Gouverneur’s Chamber of Commerce approached us and wanted to find a way to help local businesses,” said Michelle Collins, the SBDC’s business advisor. “They want local business owners and entrepreneurs to be aware of the multitude of local resources we have here in the North Country, and this gives them a starting point.”

With topics such as business resources, energy, and cost saving strategies headlining the series so far, it has already attracted 25 people at the first two sessions, which were held on June 10 and June 17.

The final two sessions, which will focus on financing and funding opportunities, as well as employee relations and compliance issues, will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 24 and Thursday, July 1, respectively. Both sessions will be located at the Methodist Church, 34 Grove Street, Gouverneur.

Panelists for the financial session on June 24 titled, “Show Me the Money,” include employees and business leaders from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Small Business Association, Gouverneur Area Development Corporation, Community Bank, Gouverneur Savings and Loan, Key Bank, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, New York Business Development Corporation, and PathStone’s Enterprise Center.

On July 1, the focus will move towards handling employees, with representatives from One Stop Career Center and the New York State Department of Labor presenting, along with a local accountant and local lawyer, in the session, “Keeping out of Hot Water.”

“For our organization, this has been a great way to reach out to different communities and business leaders around the county,” Collins said. “Businesses shouldn’t have to come see us in Canton to benefit from our knowledge and services. We are accessible to businesses everywhere because we go into the communities and provide the pertinent training and resources businesses need.”

The cost of attending the sessions is free, but pre-registration is required. For more information on attending any of the remaining sessions, contact Donna Lawrence at Gouverneur’s Chamber of Commerce at (315) 287-0331.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

Small Business Development Center Counselor and Two Businesses Receive Accolades

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

A SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) business advisor and two of the businesses the agency works with have won prestigious business awards.

Business Advisor Michelle Collins’ counseling has helped women entrepreneurs and young business people from across the North Country, and now, has earned her a Lead by Example Award through the New York State SBDC. Additionally, the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, under the direction of Karen M. St. Hilaire, was selected as the 2007 Home-Based Business Champion for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Region II, and Sandy Maine, founder of SunFeather Natural Soap Company in Parishville received the Small Business Excellence Award also through the SBA.

Michelle Collins

COLLINS LAUDED – SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Business Advisor Michelle Collins has earned a Lead by Example Award through the New York State SBDC. Pictured are (l to r) Business Advisor Julie Williams, Canton SBDC Director Dale Rice, Collins, SBDC Office Manager Linda LaParr, and SBA Region II Administrator William Manger.

“Michelle has become the ‘go to’ person in Saint Lawrence County for women in business,” said Canton SBDC Director Dale Rice.

“She has been a mentor to many women entrepreneurs and has reached out to many more with her roundtable meetings and through the recent Women in Business Conference.”

Karen St. Hilaire

ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY CHAMBER AWARDED - The St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, under the direction of Karen M. St. Hilaire, was selected as the 2007 Home-Based Business Champion for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Syracuse District. Pictured are (l to r) SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center Director Dale Rice, St. Hilaire, and SBA Syracuse District Director BJ Paprocki.

Collins has developed training events for existing business owners to assist in their ever changing business needs. She is an avid writer, and lends her talents for local organizations and for Absolutely Business magazine. She is a board member of the Norfolk-Norwood Minor Hockey Association and the SunFeather Soap Foundation, which was started to help raise funds to make it easier for small businesses to get started in the area. “Michelle created the strategic plan for the foundation and is instrumental in keeping the foundation on task,” Rice pointed out.

While all the initiatives the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce spearheads are for the benefit and improvement of the small business environment, one particular chamber effort has resulted in positive outcomes for home-based businesses specifically. The chamber’s Northern Adirondack Trading Cooperative (NATC) has served nearly 100 home based businesses with training and business development assistance. The program has gained wide recognition for its success in successfully bringing the area’s cottage industry into the world of e-commerce.

The NATC initiative was endorsed by U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Assemblywoman Deirdre Scozzafava.

“I am so pleased that the St Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is being recognized again for this incredible initiative. What started as a great idea has now become an engine of growth and employment,” said Clinton. “Our purpose was to combine the buying and selling power of eBay with the principles of micro enterprise to create employment and wealth in the North Country and now we are seeing the fruits of our labor across the state and beyond. We wanted to create a global marketplace for local products and thanks to the incredible work of Karen St Hilaire, the St Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and everyone involved in this project, we continue to see incredible results. Not only are our local companies competing on the global stage, this initiative is creating jobs and providing the essential infrastructure to help the trend continue.”

Sandy Maine

SUNFEATHER DECORATED - SunFeather Natural Soap Company Owner and CEO Sandy Maine of Parishville received the Small Business Excellence Award through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Pictured are (l to r) New York Business Development Corporation President and CEO Patrick J. McKrell, Maine, Sandy's daughter Clara Maine, SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center Business Advisor Michelle Collins; and SBA Syracuse District Director BJ Paprocki.

SunFeather Natural Soap Company has been making artisan body care products for over 26 years. The business began with a $15 investment in Sandy Maine’s farm house kitchen and SunFeather is now a thriving wholesale and retail business that markets 4,000 pounds of soap weekly.

The company enjoys immense web traffic, owns affiliate bath and beauty stores and has received international acclaim.

“Both of the local honorees are guiding examples of what it takes to make business thrive in northern New York,” said Rice. “St. Lawrence County should be proud of the accomplishments of these two women.”

Mrs. Maine’s efforts also extend to fostering other micro business enterprises. She routinely consults with soap makers who are working to grow their businesses. Recently, Maine formed the SunFeather Foundation which will soon offer micro-business loans to economically and educationally challenged entrepreneurs. The Foundation is funded by private contributions and services are administered by a non-profit board. All micro-loan recipients receive business guidance from SunFeather management and employees.