Wed February 29, 2012
Great Lakes

Despite challenges, Lake Ontario fisheries doing very well

Dozens of local anglers showed up to RIT Tuesday night to hear about the "State of Lake Ontario." The meeting was heavy on facts and figures on fishing.
Zack Seward WXXI

Steve LaPan, manager of Lake Ontario fisheries for New York's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), says invasive species are a problem.

The Asian carp is at the doorstep of Lake Michigan, "monster weeds" are choking the Finger Lakes and invasive mussels continue to threaten the Great Lakes. LaPan says invasives remain his agency's "greatest concern." 

But despite such challenges, fishing on Lake Ontario has never been better.

"Fishing has been fabulous. No uncertain terms," says LaPan. "Just some of the best trout and salmon fishing since the inception of the stocking program in the 1960s."

If there was a takeaway Tuesday night's "State of Lake Ontario" meeting, it was this: Things are looking up for the fisheries of Lake Ontario.

"In some ways it's a bit of an enigma," LaPan says.

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Fri February 10, 2012

Sam Adams takes Roc Brewing under its wing

Things are looking up for Roc Brewing Co.
Zack Seward WXXI

Roc Brewing Co. got off to an auspicious start.

Last October, the then four-month-old Rochester microbrewery became the first of two beermakers in the country to win mentorship and funding from Boston Beer Co. - the craft beer behemoth behind Samuel Adams.

Boston Beer's $10,000 loan helped Roc Brewing buy a keg cleaner.

Now co-founders Chris Spinelli and Jon Mervine have just returned from their first mentorship session with the company that helped launch the craft beer movement.

"It's great to hear from the big guys and how they did it," says Spinelli. "We got to really learn things that could help us improve and move forward and become successful ourselves."

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Mon January 16, 2012
Company Town

D.A. Smith & Associates: The business of better business

Del Smith, president of D.A. Smith & Associates. Smith runs a management consulting firm and also teaches at RIT.
Zack Seward WXXI

Del Smith is the president of D.A. Smith & Associates. He's also a business professor at RIT.

But that doesn't mean he's immune to the pitfalls of running a growing company.

"It's an art and a science," Smith says. "I probably have the science of it pretty much down pat. But, you know, you gotta work through the art piece."

Since mid-2008 Smith has been wielding his paintbrush, helping organizations "move from good to great." He and his five associates work with businesses to streamline procedures, develop talent and find tech solutions.

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Thu December 1, 2011
Your stories

Elouise Oyzon: What do you make?

Our first listening booth story comes to you from TEDxRochester.
Zack Seward WXXI

Elouise Oyzon makes fun things. 

The Innovation Trail caught up with Oyzon in our listening booth at TEDxRochester in November 2011.  She told us about her efforts to make her workplace as fun as possible, through a pilot project at the Rochester Institute of Technology called "Just Press Play."

The Microsoft-sponsored project adds a "game layer" to the college experience, giving students a chance to win "achievements," for engaging "in a playful way with their educational environments and experiences."

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Mon November 21, 2011
Company Town

Roc Brewing Co.: From mom's basement to craft beer darlings

Roc Brewing Co. co-founder Chris Spinelli. After just five months Rochester's newest microbrewery is already winning national attention.
Zack Seward WXXI

Craft beer has proven recession-proof. Its sales have accelerated while the overall beer market remains flat.

So in 2010, when two college friends from RIT decided to make a home brewing hobby into a full-fledged business, it wasn't actually that far-fetched of an idea.

After all, they did have the strong support of their earliest investor.

"She told me, 'Don't drink cheap beer'," Roc Brewing Co. co-founder Chris Spinelli says of his mom, Patty. "So we stick to that motto, and we work on building off of some of the things she taught us."

So far it's going pretty well. Roc Brewing Co. is already winning national attention - just five months after opening its sleek new downtown microbrewery.

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