CONNECT, The Business Council Podcast

CONNECT, The Business Council Podcast is hosted by President & CEO Heather Briccetti Mulligan. With over 3,500 members, The Business Council is New York State's chamber of commerce, manufacturing association and leading business advocacy group. CONNECT focuses on business issues while also delivering guests who are news makers across New York State. 


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Season Three

Episode 28 - Patrick McKenna - Saratoga Race Course (NYRA)

NYRA Vice President for Communications, Patrick McKenna, joined the podcast to discuss opening day at Saratoga Race Course, the summer meet and all the new features and attractions NYRA made at the track. We discuss the biggest racing days of the summer and where to enjoy the action once you get to the track.



Episode 27 - Ekatherina Carrera - FEMA

FEMA and private sector businesses work hand in hand each year to provide services and resources to individuals and communities impacted during a disaster. Private sector businesses can fill out a free form to become with FEMA or other government agencies who need food, supplies, or equipment. Ekatherina Carrera,  a Contracting Specialist with FEMA, walks us through the process and benefits of doing business with FEMA.



Episode 26 - Karl Sleight / Harris Beach - New York's Cannabis Industry

Karl Sleight, Partner, Harris Beach, joined the CONNECT Podcast to discuss the latest on New York State's cannabis laws. We break down where the licensing process stands, the challenges of non-licensed vendors selling products, and the impact of the industry on the economy and those who will be awarded licenses.



Episode 24 - Sam Baltzersen - FBI

FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Sam Baltzersen, stopped by the podcast to discuss cyber security. The FBI works businesses and the community on cyber security defense. We discuss what ransomware attacks are and how businesses are vulnerable to them and what employers can do to protect thier companies. We also discuss how increased threats from Russia are impacting how businesses and where business owners can go to learn more about targetd attacks and what other employers are facing.



Episode 23 - Ken Pokalsky - Unemployment Insurance Fund Debt

Ken Pokalsky, Vice President of The Business Council, recently joined the podcast to discuss the state's mounting $9 billion Unemployment Insurance Fund debt. The debt ballooned during the state-mandated business shutdowns during COVID. Now employers across the state, responsible for contributions to the fund, must repay the debt. However, The Business Council has a few ideas on how the state can offset the burden for businesses, still in recovery mode.


Episode 22 - John D'Alessandro - Firefighters Association of the State of New York

John D'Alessandro, Secretary of FASNY stopped by the podcast to discuss the need for volunteer firefighters throughout the entire state of New York. There has been a 20% decline in volunteers; why? And what does a declined volunteer pool mean for the safety of communities, particularly upstate? John also discusses what businesses and the public can do to support volunteer departments beyond becoming a member.



Episode 21 - Jenna Shrove - The Great Resignation

Jenna Shrove from the US Chamber of Commerce joined the podcast to discuss the Great Resignation. Also known as The Great Quit, a movement started in February 2021 has led to nearly 40 million Americans voluntarily resigning from their jobs. How many have quit in New York State? Why? And what long-term implications this will create on the economy is discussed in this episode. 



Episode 20 - Tim Graham - Buffalo Bills Stadium

Tim Graham, Senior Writer for The Athletic covering Buffalo sports, recently joined the podcast to discuss the future of a new Buffalo Bills stadium. Tim talks about location, roof specs, and costs. How much money will a new stadium cost not only the Bills but taxpayers in New York State? Also, why has no deal been announced yet, just one football season away from a deal needing to be in place?