Skip to content

Keuka College News > Author Archives: Gretchen Parsells

Keuka College to Present a Brief History of Wine Aug. 15

Few places love wine as much as the Finger Lakes region does. But have you ever wondered just how much you actually know about what you drink? The first in Keuka College’s Lectures by the Lake series will be a wine workshop held Friday, Aug. 15 from 3 – 5 p.m. in the Geiser Refectory.

 The workshop will feature a presentation by Associate Professor of Management David Romm.

Prof. Romm will tell the story of wine and what it means to us, how it’s been made, fought over, and appreciated from 4000 BCE to the present day. Prof. Romm’s presentation will be followed by a wine and cheese reception featuring musicians from the Eastman School of Music.

Prof. Romm is uniquely qualified to speak on the subject. His corporate experience spans prestigious brands and venues such as the World Trade Center in New York and the Vista International Hotel in Washington D.C.

While at the World Trade Center, Prof. Romm had sole management responsibility for 23 different food service and catering operations located in every part of the complex. His operations served a wide variety of markets, ranging from vending machines to fine-dining restaurants and employed more than 400 people, earned annual revenues in excess of $12 million and served more than 20,000 people every day.

During Prof. Romm’s tenure at the World Trade Center, he worked with Kevin Zraly, the world-famous sommelier and wine educator. Zraly was wine director at the World Trade Center’s Windows on the World, which was widely hailed as one of the highest-grossing restaurants in the U.S.

In Washington D.C., Prof. Romm organized a wine school that attracted leading California winemakers. Throughout his career, he has also served as a consultant for such organizations as Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Corporation, Gallop Inc., Nestle Inc. and Hilton International. Prof. Romm has presented management seminars in England, Italy, Spain and Indonesia. He has also consulted for Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, N.M. and The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck.

Prof. Romm began teaching at Keuka College in 1991 and currently teaches several courses including Food and Society, which focuses on the complex and significant role food plays in all aspects of our lives.

Tickets for the workshop are $15. Seating is limited, so advanced reservations are advised. Make checks payable to Keuka College and mail to: Office of Alumni and Family Relations, Keuka College, Keuka Park, N.Y. 14478, or reservations may be made online at events.keuka.edu. The reservation deadline is Friday, Aug. 8.

Keuka College’s new Lectures by the Lake series is designed for community members to learn about topics of regional interest from some of the College’s most revered subject-matter experts.

For more information call (315) 279-5238 or e-mail spevents@keuka.edu.

Stork Award to Sandy Carlson

Miracle worker. A joy and a blessing. Compassionate and professional.

These are among the adjectives people have used to describe Penn Yan resident Sandy Carlson, who will receive the 2014 Donald and Corinne Stork Award for Community Service Tuesday, Aug. 12.

The award will be presented at a noon luncheon in the Geiser Refectory in Dahlstrom Student Center at Keuka College.

The Stork Award was established by Keuka College to recognize outstanding individuals who exemplify the College’s commitment of valuing individual initiative for the common good. The award was named after the first recipients of the award, Penn Yan residents Corinne Stork and the late Donald Stork, in 1991.

Described as one of the first people to bring a meal to someone in need, Carlson volunteers her time and talents to such organizations as the Once Again Shoppe, Keuka Comfort Care Home, CROP Walk, and the Yates County Public Health Medical Reserve Corps. A volunteer with the Red Cross, Carlson worked in New York City after 9/11 and in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.

A graduate of the Genesee Hospital School of Nursing, Carlson worked at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital’s emergency room for more than 30 years and now serves as a substitute nurse in the Penn Yan Central School District.

A deacon, elder, youth leader and trustee of the First Presbyterian Church, Carlson also serves on the session and is a member of the kitchen and sanctuary committees. An active member of the church’s women’s group for more than 40 years, she serves as the chair of both of the church fall and spring rummage sales.

A board member for the Yates County Christmas for the Needy, Carlson buys toys and stores gently used clothing year-round so that they can be distributed as needed. She also collaborates with her daughter in New Jersey to collect donations from her community for Penn Yan. In addition, she works with various stores which offer discounted items for the needy.

Tickets for the luncheon are $12. Seating is limited, so advanced reservations are advised. Make checks payable to Keuka College and mail to: Office of Alumni and Family Relations, Keuka College, Keuka Park, N.Y. 14478, or reservations may be made online at events.keuka.edu. The reservation deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 6.

For more information call (315) 279-5238 or e-mail spevents@keuka.edu.

Keuka College Earns START-UP NY Initiative Approval


Keuka College was one of four upstate New York colleges to be unanimously approved for a tax-free designation thanks to the START-UP NY initiative.

START-UP NY is an initiative from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo designed to provide major incentives for businesses to relocate, start up, or significantly expand in New York state through affiliations with public and private universities, colleges and community colleges. Businesses will have the opportunity to operate free of state and local taxes- on or near academic campuses, and their employees will pay no state or local personal income taxes. In addition, businesses may qualify for additional incentives.

START-UP NY tax relief is more extensive than what is offered under other similar government programs, such as industrial development agencies. Under START-UP NY, participating companies will not pay any state or local taxes for 10 years, including property, income, business, corporate or sales taxes. Franchise fees are also forgiven.

2,530 square feet of vacant space at Penn Yan’s Keuka Business Park was declared eligible for inclusion in the state’s tax-free START-UP NY program, which links universities and colleges to business growth. Part of the initiative states that of the three million feet of space for private universities, 2.4 million feet must go to campuses upstate.

“This proposal was completed in conjunction with the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center,” said College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, “and now that we have this relationship with START-UP NY, we hope to be able to revise our proposal to include the Keuka Commons once construction is underway. The designation would make it even more appealing for high-tech business from out-of-state and new technology startups to come to the Keuka College campus.”

Preliminary plans call for a 30,000 square foot Keuka Commons building across from the main campus with 4,000 square feet designated as tax-free space. Among other things, the building would house the College’s Center for Business Analytics and Health Informatics.

According to Steve Griffin, CEO of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, receiving the initiative is a momentous accomplishment.

“The START-UP NY initiative makes a significant incentive for businesses going forward, and is vitally important to keep us in a competitive environment with the rest of the state,” said Griffin.

“The START-UP NY board has also approved plans from Clarkson University, Columbia University, and the University of Rochester—so we are in extraordinarily good company and among one of the first private institutions to have space approved,” said President Díaz-Herrera.

“The space is small enough to get a business started, but has room for future allocations,” said Griffin. “There are overhead doors to accommodate large machinery. I think it will fill quickly.”

Bat McGrath Flood Benefit Concert Set for June 7

Rochester Music Hall of Famer Bat McGrath will perform a benefit concert at Keuka College Saturday, June 7.

The concert will support the Penn Yan Relief Fund, and begins at 7 p.m. in Norton Chapel. Tickets are $20 and are available at area Wegmans stores, Long’s Cards and Books in Penn Yan, and may be available at the door.

One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the Penn Yan Relief Fund, a charity set up last month to take requests and provide aid to local residents whose flood-related damages from severe mid-May storms were not covered by other sources, like flood insurance.

McGrath, whose five-decade career has included work in folk, jazz, and country music, lives in Nashville, Tenn. But in the late 1970s, McGrath lived in Branchport, playing gigs throughout the area and writing songs for his album From the Blue Eagle, released by Amherst Records in 1976. He and his wife, actress Trisha Cast, who has played “Nina” on the daytime drama The Young and the Restless for 15 years, visited Penn Yan last year.

McGrath ran a well-known Rochester bar/coffeehouse where, after hours, he and partner Don Potter held jam sessions with the likes of Chuck Mangione, Stanley Watson, and Tony Levine. He has written songs for such artists as Kenny Rogers, Wynonna, the Judds, and Cecily Wright.

In addition to From the Blue Eagle, his discography contains 11 other albums including No Reverb, Perfectly Flawed, Communicate, and So Do I.

Cast will also be at the concert to sign autographs.

15th Annual Keuka College Golf Classic Tees Off July 14

The 15th Annual Keuka College Golf Classic will be contested Monday, July 14, at Lakeside Country Club in Penn Yan.

The 18-hole scramble tournament benefits the Keuka College Scholarship Fund. In its first 14 years, the tournament raised more than $176,000 for the scholarship, which is awarded annually to Keuka students from the Finger Lakes region.

Registration begins at 11:45 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1:15 p.m. and competition in men’s, women’s, mixed, and senior flights. The cost is $95 and includes greens fees, cart, lunch, refreshments on the course, and a cocktail reception. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Team or individual entries are accepted. To receive a registration form, or for more information, call Kathy Waye, executive director of alumni and family relations at (315) 279-5602 or email keukaclassic@keuka.edu. Reservations are due by Tuesday, July 1.