SCHENECTADY — The Daily Gazette on Monday announced the appointment of two new executives at the 127-year-old Schenectady newspaper.
Steve Graubart is the new chief financial officer and Gus Rivera has been named environmental health and safety director, a newly created position. Both have been on the job for a week.
Graubart is a Manhattan native who grew up in Niskayuna and now lives in Guilderland. He and his wife have two grown children.
Graubart previously was CFO at two Capital Region manufacturers, Applied Robotics and Rupprecht & Patashnick. He succeeds Vice President of Finance Lance Geda, who left The Gazette to take a job closer to his home in Connecticut.
Graubart retired after leaving Applied Robotics and didn’t particularly enjoy it. He did consulting work, then sought a new full-time role at three companies, one of them The Gazette. “I’ve been reading it my whole life,” he said.
A CFO’s duties are more than managing the company’s finances. Compliance with regulations is critical, and there are a lot of regulations in New York state. “It’s not how many there are, it’s that they change constantly,” Graubart said.
Graubart attended Syracuse University and then UAlbany to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting. His first job in the field that became his career was head teller at the old Mohawk National Bank in downtown Schenectady.
He also has interest in and experience with computers, and was a network administrator at a previous job. He’d like to streamline the back-office computer systems at The Gazette to increase automation and integration.
“In all of my other jobs as CFO, I’ve been involved in everything, getting to know what everybody needs to make their job easier,” Graubart said. “Every department here is a customer.”
Rivera is a Brooklyn native who relocated to Amsterdam in his early teens. He still lives there today with his wife and five children.
Rivera served in the U.S. Marine Corps and then the National Guard, retiring in 2015. Early on he was an infantryman but later moved into finance, logistics and safety. The later assignments, combined with additional training and certifications, led him to his current civilian career — workplace safety and health.
Rivera previously was corporate health and safety director for Irving Consumer Products and before that, was director of environmental health and safety for DSM Nutritional Products.
Rivera likes to implement a management of change process so that decisions by a particular department or manager are not made in a vacuum without input from others who will be affected by those changes, or perhaps have insight to the situation surrounding them. “What’s the problem, what are some of the solutions, and what solutions will the people buy into?” he said, illustrating the thought process involved.
Rivera said he’d be pursuing a lean manufacturing process at The Gazette. “I believe that when you implement a lean process it also goes hand-in-hand with safety,” he said.
“In my 30 days I want to do an overall assessment,” he said, then look for cost-effective ways to address any issues he finds. “I choose the words ‘cost-effective’ rather than ‘cheap,’ because cost-effective is where you get the bang for the buck.”