Monday, March 28, 2016

Ryan & Ryan's Client of the Month for April 2016

The chances of hiring an architect may happen only once or twice in someone's life. Finding the right architect for your project, be it a building or home, expansion or renovation, is vital in the process. In Ulster County, some of the most recognized renovated buildings have our Client of the Month, Dutton Architecture, PLLC, written all over them. Dutton Architecture, PLLC, owned by Scott Dutton and started in 1997, is now comprised of seven employees. It is a full service, progressive, architectural firm that provides comprehensive professional services for design, planning, and project development for both commercial and residential sites.  Originally from Maine, Scott fell in love with the Hudson Valley and made Kingston his home by purchasing and renovating the former Canfield Supply warehouse building on Broadway.  That 28,000 sf building is now the home and office of Dutton Architecture, PLLC.

Dutton Architecture has an extensive list of projects in their portfolio some of which include Kingston Health Pavilion, Rondout Lighthouse, Mother Earth’s Storehouse, Mariner’s Harbor,  The Ulster County Community Center, and the HealthAlliance Center for Breast Health.  The most recent masterpiece by Dutton Architecture, Pllc has been the renovation of the 55,000 sf  U.S.Lace Curtain Mill Factory which had laid dormant for 30+ years in Midtown Kingston.  The historic structure was renovated into 55 units of beautiful Artist lofts, a public gallery, studio space, and a meeting place.

When asked about the key to his company's success, Scott Dutton said,  “We are extremely client-centered. It’s not uncommon for us to be here late into the night or weekends.”  It may sound cliche, but Scott honestly believes in just a few very basic principles; Treat every client the way you would want to be treated even if that goes beyond the bottom line. A client that has chosen to trust him with their project is the best advertisement dollar he could spend.  Scott can vouch that he and Bob Ryan share the same philosophy in that regard.  Bob and I both know that our clients have many choices and we both believe strongly that every client, no matter how small or large, is someone placing their trust in us.  At Dutton Architecture, PLLC, we try and help each client navigate the process by putting ourselves in their shoes. We treat their budget, schedule, and design goal as if it were our own.  The same can be said for helping clients with their insurance needs. Bob and his team have been there for us since early on. Ryan and Ryan Insurance Brokers has assisted us through major changes in health care insurance that impacts our family as well as those of our employees, risk management on the commercial buildings that we own, life insurance, and coverage for our company and personal automobiles.

When asked about a specific moment he could relay about his insurance experiences with Bob and Ryan & Ryan Insurance, Scott responded that it is easy to be cynical about the insurance carriers and assume the worst when dealing with an insurance situation. Last year, Bob proved to me that cultural stereotype about insurance companies is, in fact, inaccurate.   I called to ask “what happens now” after a catastrophic loss.  Scott will never forget Bob’s reply after his inquired, of course assuming the worst, about a drawn out negotiation with the insurance company and/or a disappointing settlement.  Bob’s response was, “Now hold on just a minute, Mr. Dutton. Don’t assume anything. We’ve got you with a very good company and I have no doubt that they will be fair to you.  Just be patient and let me take care of it”  Scott states,and that is exactly what Bob did. A few weeks later, he was pleasantly surprised and happy to have been proven wrong, something Bob likes to remind him of with a good hearted jab every so often when he sees him.

For more information about Dutton Architecture, PLLC visit their website by clicking here or contact Scott Dutton, 15 Canfield St., Kingston, NY 12401, 845.339.2039

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Lace Mill, our Client of the Month for March

The 55,000 sq. ft. former United States Lace Curtain Mill, built in c.1903, was once part of Kingston’s thriving textile manufacturing industry, which boomed at the turn of the 20th century.  It employed hundreds of Kingston residents over several generations.  The factory, which sat unused for nearly 30 years, was once an eyesore for midtown Kingston.

Today, it has become a symbol of community rejuvenation, having an impact far beyond the 55 units that were created. This historic structure which had been left vacant  for years now offers a beautiful place for artists to live. Kevin O’Connor, RUPCO’s Chief Executive Officer, stated in Affordable Housing Finance,  “It was about lifting a community and creating a much more interesting place where people can live and work.”  The development also has 8,000 sq. ft. of public gallery, studio, and meeting space.

The project was lead by RUPCO’s CEO, Kevin O’Connor, who envisioned a project such as this would significantly impact the community.  With help from RUPCO colleagues Chuck Snyder and Guy Kempe, architect Scott Dutton, community involvement from City of  Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo and others, the vision started to become a reality. On April 1, 2014  a celebratory kick-off ‘Paint Can Opening’ took place.  Restoration had already begun when more than 200 attendees toured and viewed architectural renderings of the completed project.

Fifteen months later, occupancy of some of the units began, and by the fall of 2015, the labor-intensive historical restoration was complete.  

As of October 2015, The Lace Mill was home to the ‘Urban Pioneers’ and the first residents with units leased to 34 households, 56 individuals whose ethnic/cultural identity includes, Hispanic, Non-Hispanic, Multi-Race, African American, Asian and Caucasian, including 9 children and 5 seniors.  These residents are dancers, graphic designers, film & media, jewelry makers, painters, photographers, crocheters, puppeteers, therapist in healing arts, sculptors, drawers, singers, musicians, writers, printmakers and actors.

Most recently, New York Regional Home Performance Conference in Saratoga Springs,  NYSERDA honored the Lace Mill with its Low-rise Residential New Construction Program Trailblazing Project Award. Each year NYSERDA recognizes projects of merit innovative approaches to energy efficiency, usage, and application.  The Lace Mill hosts Kingston’s largest solar array (160kW) which net-meters rooftop solar-electricity production against the building’s common area energy usage.

Several  RUPCO employees asked about the business relationship and communication with Ryan & Ryan Insurance offered many positive thoughts.  Chuck Snyder, Director of Real Estate and Construction, commented that “RUPCO has been using Ryan & Ryan as our primary development insurer for at least 5 years.  Although we often have issues, Bob and Kim Whalen always advocate for us and as a client treat us as their first priority.”

Sheila Kilpatrick, Vice President of Operations stated “Recently, we were faced with our workers compensation carrier dropping us with little notice.  Bob Ryan put in a significant amount of effort to make sure we had coverage by the first of the year.  He sent out several bids on our behalf.  Ultimately, we did not end up going with the insurance that Bob was able to find us, but even after all of his effort he was very gracious and understood our financial decision to go down another path.  He is a class act!”

Regarding Ryan & Ryan Insurances Community Involvement,  Tara Collins, Director of Communications and Resource Development at RUPCO says ‘R&R has been a consistent supporter of our events throughout the years and for that we’re grateful!’

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ryan & Ryan's Tip of the Month

This Month's Tip

Protect Fine Arts
When it comes to valuable fine arts collections, your clients should take a broad risk management approach to this important loss exposure—an approach beyond simply procuring the proper insurance.
The following are some risk control tips to pass on to your clients with valuable fine arts collections.
  • Maintain your home's interior at a steady temperature (between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit), since extreme heat or cold can damage art work.
  • Avoid placing art work in direct sunlight or near a fireplace.
  • Do not store artwork in a basement or an attic; instead, use a reputable fine-art storage facility for your artwork that is not displayed.
  • Utilize a centrally monitored security system, and use outdoor signs to alert potential burglars of your security system.
  • Install smoke detectors in rooms in which the art is located.
  • Properly frame art work using shatter-resistant fronts to block UV rays, and consider hiring a professional art hanger for your more valuable pieces. 
Get more personal lines insurance and risk management tips and ideas from IRMI.