CANTON -- The St. Lawrence County Chamber will honor Slic Network Solutions and North Country Savings Bank as Businesses of the Year at its annual dinner this Thursday at SUNY Potsdam.
Phil Wagschal, CEO of Slic Network Solutions in Potsdam, and David Swanson, President of North Country Savings Bank, will receive the awards on behalf of their businesses.
Celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, Slic started operation out of the basement of Nicholville Telephone Company. One name change, two office moves, two spin-off sister companies, the death of dial-up, birth of broadband, and entry into the physical infrastructure of the industry later, Slic is recognized as the lead provider of St. Lawrence County network connections with voice and data services to thousands of commercial and residential consumers across the county.
Last year, the company secured $33 million in American Recovery Reconstruction Act funds to install 796 miles of fiber optics to rural households in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties. The work is expected to create 89 new jobs, and are projected to increase property tax revenues for towns, counties and school at more than $400,000 annually.
North Country Savings Bank was chartered in 1909 and is a combination of St. Lawrence County Savings Bank, Potsdam Savings and Loan Association, and Canton Federal Savings and Loan Association. Serving area residents for more than 100 years, North Country Savings Bank employs more than 80 local residents, contributes more than $3.5 million to the local economy through payroll and has assets that stand at $242 million.
One nominator noted that not only has the “NCSB been a leader in community service and a great example for other businesses to follow in civic involvement, the bank employees also provide excellent customer service.”
“Both of these fine businesses are huge assets to our North Country economy,” said Pat McKeown, Executive Director of the Chamber, “We are honored not only to count them as members but to recognize their unique contributions to our county.”
Guest speaker for the annual dinner is Don Meissner, host of “Rod and Reel Streamside” and the face of the chamber’s new FISHCAP project. Meissner will give an update of FISHCAP and share his reasons for becoming “the face” of this interesting economic development initiative. Massena Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray, a partner with the chamber in the FISHCAP endeavor, will make introductions.
In addition to the two St. Lawrence County Business of the Year Awards, the chamber will also make a presentation for Commitment to Community, to a so-far unnamed business.
A live and silent auction, hosted by Kip Blanchard, will cap off the evening’s entertainment.