Harden, nanocenter among Leading Edge winners

UNDER CONSTRUCTION -- Construction continues on the building of the nanocenter on the SUNYIT campus in Marcy in this Sentinel file photo. The nanocenter is among four local businesses or projects that will receive a Leading EDGE Award, Mohawk Valley EDGE has announced.

CRAFTSMEN -- Larry Widrig and Chris Holmes, both upholsters, at Harden Furniture in McConnellsville work on sofa in this Sentinel file photo.

WHITESTOWN -- Four Mohawk Valley companies will be honored at the 13th Leading EDGE Awards luncheon next month.

The program recognizes companies that are helping expand the region's economy through investment and job growth.

This year's honorees include:

¡ Harden Furniture for its recent $4 million modernization project that will create 10 jobs and retain 250 jobs at the McConnellsville facility. Established in 1844, Harden Furniture is a leading North American furniture manufacturer.

¡ The combined SUNYIT and the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering for the creation of an educational institution in Marcy with advanced, extensive and complete nanotechnology research and development infrastructure and academic nanotechnology degree portfolio.

The others are:

¡ The Utica Comets team, which just completed its first season in the American Hockey League, for a leading role in the revitalization of downtown Utica and improvements to the Utica Memorial Auditorium as well as the creation of 50 jobs for young professionals; and

¡ Feldmeier Equipment in Little Falls for undergoing an $8 million expansion and the creation of 80 jobs. Feldmeier is a manufacturer of stainless steel tanks, vessels and silos, used in everything from craft breweries to yogurt production.

"The Leading EDGE Awards recognize companies in the Mohawk Valley who have had a significant impact on the region's economy, "said EDGE President, Steven DiMeo. "Whether in cybersecurity, insurance, tourism or education; these companies are steadfast leaders in their respective industries and contribute to the superb quality of life in the region."

Keynote speaker will be Alain Kaloyeros, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. He is leading the development and implementation of New York's high-tech strategy to become a global leader in the nanotechnology-driven economy of the 21st century.

Eugene Quadraro will be presented with the Christopher Destito Leading EDGE Award. This award is given to someone who has had a lifelong commitment to the betterment of the Mohawk Valley.

Quadraro currently is on the Oneida County Industrial Development Agency as well as the current president of the Genesis Group Board of Trustees. Quadraro retired from MetLife following a 37-year career that witnessed the growth of a local back office operation of 100 workers to the current employment base of more than 1,300.

He also is involved with the Boilermaker Road Race, Utica College Board of Trustees, Revolutionary Trails Boy Scout Council and other volunteer organizations.

The luncheon is May 16 at noon at Hart's Hill Inn, 135 Clinton St. For ticket information, call Mohawk Valley EDGE, 338-0393.

Sponsors of the Leading EDGE Awards include: M+W Group, O'Brien & Gere, National Grid, Working Solutions, Adirondack Bank,Adjusters International, Basloe, Levin and Cuccaro, Berkshire Bank, Cathedral Corp., Carbone Auto Group, First Niagara Bank, First Source Federal Credit Union, M & T Bank, March Associates, NBT Bank,Oneida Indian Nation, Oneida Savings Bank, andPacemaker Steel & Piping Company.