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Complete Herkimer 9 Interview | The Matt Masur Show CLIPS

Matt Masur Show Clips

Herkimer 9 is an organization with an incredible new vision for downtown Herkimer New York. Their plan is to bring Herkimer’s history into the modern age with a Basketball arena and multiple areas throughout the town that celebrate the village’s strong history while bringing new business and opportunity to the area at the same time.

Brion Carrol and Jordan Heath of Herkimer 9 join the Matt Masur Show to tell us about it all.

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Complete Herkimer 9 Interview | The Matt Masur Show | The Matt Masur Show CLIPS

Uncorrected Computer Generated Transcript:

Herkimer 9 Interview
So joining us. Is two representatives from the Herkimer nine organization. Now, again, this is the organization we told you about a little while ago. They are working hard to do amazing things in the village of Herkimer. Brion Carroll is the COO and Jordan and forgive me, Jordan, but I don’t remember your, your official title.
It’s program director, program, director of the Herkimer nine organization. I want to thank both of you for joining us. It’s it’s really awesome to have you you know, we first kind of heard this story whispered about in the media. And I said, what is this? This sounds awesome. And we looked into it and talked about it and, and Jordan reached out and said, Hey, we saw you talked about this and we’re so glad cause that’s exactly what we want people to do.
So she very courteously offered to join us and actually tell us some real details. And I’m so excited to have you and, and Brion. It’s great to meet you and have you on the show as well. If, if you’d like to tell us, you know, what, tell us what’s going on. Tell us the story. Hear the pitch.
Yeah. Hi, I’m I’m Brion Carroll. So it’s nice to meet you. I don’t generally do podcasts because I’m, you know, an old guy and you know that new tech, so it’s good to see you bridging technology into this area. So I appreciate that. And I appreciate your show. So. Just share where you’re familiar. And I’m originally from Herkimer grew up in the South of the fifties, sixties, and seventies, and left into the air force.
And then I attacked and then came back into the region about 35 years later looking at Herkimer and saying, Ooh, what happened? Because when I was a kid it definitely was something that you can feel safe on main street and you can enjoy a full breadth of. Activities and services and you could be a community.
That’s what I call a bedroom community. And that was days that would be manufacturing, maybe the future it’s the nail senators and things going on out there. And so on where people can come back and rest their bones and take their family out and go to dinner and have some entertainment and then go back home or whatever that doesn’t seem to be an obvious today.
And so, I’m also the chairman of the planning board. Okay. In 2018, we put together the master plan 2020, which if anyone wants to go look at all the, how you make a sausage and what the sausage looks like in the end, you can go to VO Herkimer 20 and you can download the content of the master plan and see all the vigilance that went through to develop it.
And the reason I say that is because it kind of brings up what we’re doing in the Herkimer nine world is Scott Flansburg who’s also from Herkimer is also what the industry in the world calls the human calculator. He saw the master plan, his sister still lives here, and it became obvious to him that, you know, Herkimer was downtrodden just through life and you know, this repair and so on.
And he combined that with. The book and let me just turn away from the camera for a second and look up this book up. This is fun, Jordan. There you go. I grew up with basketball and I grew up with basketball was written by Frank J Pat is a little, 1952 when it all names and details. The activity that the individual called Lambert Wil was involved in.
And that’s part of the piece that you wrote up where he was actually involved worked at the YMCA. And help to really develop the rules of basketball during its infancy. And we don’t believe he got enough credit. He was posted in his information, was posted in the in the hall of fame in Springfield for a year.
And then somebody yanked that out because they felt that it’s something they didn’t want to itch. Oh, wow. But what Scott was looking at is, you know, why can’t we bring the basketball history back into Herkimer. And that really is kind of the core of what we call her from her nine. So through her compliance program and the hurricane program, actually composes of two different forms of business initiative, one is a for-profit side and that would include placing within what we’d call the, the block between main street and prospect with church at his North border.
In that block area would be placed a, a, what we call the Lambert we’ll field house and event center. And that actually would be a 5,000 seats stadium event place where basketball could be played. Volleyball could be played. Concerts could be had shows, could be delivered in. That’s really kind of like the, the core to bring visitors and tourists into the area for a purpose.
And. That automatically opens up with a lot more individuals coming through the region, instead of just flying off to, you know, old forge or down to Cooperstown, they actually have a reason to stop and stay. And, and so that opens up other things that are in that same timeframe of the Lambertville, which is the Palmer house.
The Palmer house is really a disrepair. It’s a hotel of, of grand jury back in the day. And that would be part of what we classify as the hospitality end of this, where that Palmer house and the apartments across the street from it all being in the 18 hundreds and early 19 hundreds, when they were built, that would actually be the hotel and suites area so that we could actually accommodate tourism, tourists, and people also the, a Masonic temple, which is up the road a bit from.
It’s right near the four corners, which is the historic Fort partners. Yeah. I actually had a conversation with someone who, whose name, I can’t say, but is actually from Herkimer and as a chef, does, you’re a chef grander, like you were talking about the guy before as the book and all that. So this guy is actually a kind of sewer kind of chef, but all over the world worked in worked at heck.
The Olympics, he actually ran the Olympics, the food service, and then the Marriott, the Marriott corporate. Then he’s all this vision. And we actually had a conversation with him yesterday, and we want to turn the Masonic temple into a what I’ll call a little bit more upscale than Applebee’s, but not crazy in the bottom floor.
And then on the upper floor have a banquet hall because people that are doing sporting events want to be able to meet in large masses and do things. So. And so you can see that also the Quackenbush, the Quackenbush has a learning center in our mind, right? 50 inventions were there like the, the ladder and the bicycle and the BB and all these things from Quackenbush.
So that building, we want to turn into what we call a youth steam, which is science, technology, engineering, arts, and math center in the bottom. The second floor would be an adults team, meaning individuals that want to shift their, their skillset can learn new technologies and learn new skills and actually become part of a.
We’ll call it a digital workforce. And then on the top floor would be the incubator lab and the incubator lab would actually enable people to be able to say, I got an idea. Let me, let me, let me start, you know, flushing it out. And so that incubator lab and business development center would allow the birthing of, of new ideas, new businesses, new industries, who knows.
And so. You can begin to see, you know, what we’re looking to do is really kind of like back to the future. You know, we want to take things from the past, give them a a real clear face, but within the program of Herkimer nine, it really begins to, you know, kind of umbrella these activities. The steam would be not-for-profit.
We also looked at the park. I don’t know if you’ve ever went past the dump when I was a kid. We used to actually go dump picking for copper and brass and aluminum. Right? Bring it a little Dolly down and filling up and drop back and sell it. So that beyond the, the dump is this we call it, I, we just term it point park because it goes to a point.
And in there we’re working with the Erie group to see how we can take that, which is about 30 something acres. Plus the land that’s behind Lowe’s, which is about 60 acres. Both of those would be kind of, kind of be point park. And as the movie said in a river, ran through it. Right. So that begins to enable us the ability to have biking, nature, trails, pavilions.
And so I incredible. So you begin to see how this begins to shape out. We also were talking to the library yesterday. We think they’re a vital part of learning and education. And so they’re currently in a building that they’re, you know, having funding to repair the roof and all these other things. And we’d like to take that and say, is that where you want to be?
Or, and if so, how do we facade that building? So it fits into what we’d call the motif of the 1890s and early, early 19 hundreds. But you can begin to see how this has so many different tentacles. And we’re getting a lot of excitement from individuals that are on the board, individuals, in the industry, individuals in basketball.
And a lot of people that left and said in Jordan’s one of the, Jordan’s one of them she left and they said, wait, something’s going on? And whoosh, she came back. So hopefully, you know, the pride, what, what, what I find is when I talk to people from Herkimer as with myself, you know, I grew up here and you kind of leave, but never forget.
And the point is so many people have reminisces of good times and comfort and happiness, and they come back and they become sorrowful and we really want to take and make it so that, you know, they have pride, but now they have a reason to stay or come back and visit or reference friends to it because it really can be what it was before.
So. I know I went through a lot of stuff, but so much of that speaks to me specifically, you know, the coming back cause I’ve, you know, I live outside of the Syracuse area right now and I love what I consider my home and I still consider it my home, even though I, you know, I haven’t necessarily lived there for many years now.
And, and the idea of having opportunity to come back for and, and the idea of you know, being able to draw. So much of the talent, because a lot of people will tell you for years, we’ve got in a very close radius, all these wonderful educational institutions, and we’ve got well-educated well-trained folks that.
Take that and go somewhere else. Just because of, you know, and you certainly can’t blame them. It’s a matter of their opportunities. So as we’re building opportunities at home, as I consider it, I couldn’t love that more. And especially when you talk about incubators, there’s a special place in my heart for, for incubators as a startup owner and somebody who got a lot of advantage in an incubator when I got my start and to see these things.
Again, in the Valley is, is almost unheard of these are types of things that you, you don’t generally see when we’re talking about economic development and new things and you know, in that region. And, and to hear people talk about bringing that to Herkimer New York is just absolutely phenomenal to hear.
So I, I, I couldn’t commend you folks anymore for what you’re doing. Let me ask it yesterday. We had Herkimer County legislator on John Stevens and he was touting a lot of the successes of economic development in Herkimer County. And I mentioned this to them and it seems that they are very excited about it, but he has a, a question that I think a lot of people might be one of their main questions is these are awesome ideas.
How does it get paid for, how does it, how does it become a reality. Yeah. So, so let me hit on that in, in two fronts, right? I’m a businessman, by the way I left, as you did left, the area went on to high tech worked in software, started a consulting company, built a software company, sold that software company and blah, blah, blah.
Right. And so, you know, from the, from the business side, the only way that you can do something of this type of this scale is really to be able to tickle the minds of people that want to get a return on their investment. As well as in bell you know, enable the development of an environment that has the human story alongside it.
Right? Sure. And so that’s why, what we look at is this framework of intimately, intimately tying together that which enriches the community, which is, you know, bringing something back into it, but also enables individuals, whether it’s on the hospitality side or it’s on the. Events side to be able to have money coming back from what it gets invested.
And that’s where we think, you know, we’re putting together business profiles and proformas that really speak to not gouging the world, but enabling the world and having individuals that are investor worthy to be able to come in. So we’ve actually had a lot of connections with a range of individuals, both in the region, from the region and outside the region.
I don’t know if you know Scott Flansburg history, but. You know, he’s set the Guinness book of world records for 20 something years in, in adding numbers. And, and he’s, you know, just so you can’t, you can’t you get amazed every time he demonstrates his skill, but that has, that has allowed him to rub shoulders with so many individuals Alice Cooper, we believe who he golfs with all the time.
Well, and that, by the way, it’s weird. My first concert. Then I went to what was in Utica and it was Alice Cooper and first concert. Yeah, the first concert we’re going to happen. And we opened up the event center is Alice Cooper because, but that, that whole range of individuals are, are itching to put money into this, not only his donation, but also as investment, but we’re trying to first grab from the inside.
One of the things we’re looking to do. Is, and I think Jordan can kind of pick one up and show is we’re going to sell bricks. One of the, I know that sounds weird, but the, the, between the event center and the Quackenbush building, and you can get information about this program up in veal, her, excuse me, her from are and Herkimer
You can download what we have the Delta plan. And those bricks will lay between the center and the block and wish in a park area. And they’ll, we’ll etch the names of individuals. So if you’re from now in South Carolina and you want to buy a brick and it costs a hundred bucks, well now guess why you just invested in her current future, right?
And so those kinds of things, you look at the high end individuals that have tens of millions, which we know of, which we have contact with. And you have the people that would just want to give a couple hundred bucks and have their name be on the platform between, you know, within this space. It kind of allows all those things to fall together.
Just so you’re aware. One of the things that generally happens when you do something of this size that you really want to collect and connect with it, a developer. And so we’ve really been holding off, pulling money in until the developer. Now we’re finalizing our agreement and I can’t say who it will be, but we will announce it and are local.
And there’ll be actually taking on the developer role, which will then enable us to be able to bring the money in and put it to use immediately. Because some of the things you gotta do, like opportunity zones, which are investments, where if you put in a million dollars and you make 250,000, that’s 250,000 is tax free.
And so, but you got to use it within 90 days of it being put in or 180. And so it really gets into timeliness. So I, I would say to, you know, your audience, that what we really know is that there’s a lot of people that want to invest, including the college wants to invest. The community foundation is providing investment.
There’s a lot that are in the local region and outside this region, this will become a reality. And it does take time realize we just started this last August. So this is kind of like, you know, light speed or digital speed when it comes to moving forward on things. So I appreciate the question, but hopefully I gave sufficient and answer with enough ambiguity.
I think he really did. I think one of the things that. Folks worry about is this is one of those projects that is going to be hinged on, you know, the state giving a huge grant and, and things like that. And, you know, because unfortunately the area has seen things like that and, and lots of promises and they haven’t come to fruition.
And unfortunately mostly from politicians, but here we have. Private folks who from the sounds of things have a very solid plan for some private funding that would make sense the area, and especially a project like this would be an incredible investment for a lot of folks. And, and it’s nice to see that you know, you guys have a plan that sounds more than sustainable, and you’re clearly getting your ducks in a row.
Like you said, you’ve got to have these different pieces, but You know, I think you definitely answered the question and and I think that was the, the answer I was hoping to hear. Yeah. Let, let me, let me get one more topic, because remember we’re talking about originated of seating, the basketball, the history of Asheville as clearly depicted, by the way, it just a general comment, a friend, Jay Bezlo.
Have you ever heard of the Harlem globe Trotters? The Harlem globe Trotters, where people would go around and do demonstration. Okay. Yeah. Actually Frank J Bezlo is the first one to ever create. He created the basil of globe Trotters. And if you read the book, I grew up with basketball. You’ll hear how at the age of 16.
Now this is right within the period of time of the 1890s, 1910. So on at the age of 16, he began taking the Herkimer team and Mo and going around to various places and charging. For tickets and getting money and dividing it amongst the players. And so he actually was very famous for having done all of that.
And. When he put out the book in 52, which articulates and announces the involvement of Lambert will the Herkimer YMCA, the first basketball game with the rim being developed by the Herkimer iron works and the net being D being knitted by his own mother. All of those things were first. And so the fact is in 1952, if he was wrong, if he was lying, if he was saying something wasn’t true, They would have whooped him something wicked in 1952 because those humans still existed.
Right. So, so the fact is, you know, we believe strongly that what we’re going to do is do two things. One is bring the true clarity of what happened in basketball to Herkimer. But also it’s going to create a little bit of a flare because the NBA, not the NBA, but Naismith and those that say we did it all are going to say, wait, wait, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.
And so the good thing is that there’s actually that spice of conflict and uncertainty and clarity that kind of come in and to round it all off. Scott Flansburg, the Herkimer nine is, has obtained a ABA. Now the American basketball association league is the largest non-professionally in the world. And that league now will have a game a team here called the Herkimer originals and.
We believe we’re going to be able to bring the ABA league to Herkimer. And if we can do that, then that becomes the headquartered event for the ABA. The event center becomes a hosting place for basketball in its true form. In addition to all the other things that it can do. So we’re not, we’re not stopping on one thing.
We’re not looking for one feeder pole. We’re not looking for one way of looking at business or opportunity. We’re looking at every single way that these things can all come together. So. I couldn’t love that approach anymore. We’ve got a comment in our, in our live chat and then Jordan, I, I definitely, I apologize.
It just, just guys just says this year is the General’s year. The globe Trotters are going down. Jordan, you were somebody that, that I met years ago in Utica, you’ve always been an incredible community connected figure. So it’s not shocking to hear that you were in this organization, but tell us a little bit about what, what brought you to us and what brought you to this rather?
Oh, well, it’s funny, actually, Brion mentioned that I was gone and came back, but I didn’t actually get to leave yet because we’re surviving a global apocalypse. So. I have grown up here. I lived in Herkimer, but admittedly, I was that kid that could not wait to leave. I bought my first time. I got you at Woolworths on main street and I don’t have another good memory from my childhood.
I mean, you know, that’s just, that’s the story. I I’m the sixth generation of my family to grow up in my house. So my brother and I, so my mom and my grandparents, you know, all of the stories are in our house. And it’s walking distance to main street. So my whole life, I grew up hearing these stories of what main street used to be.
And my memories are, you know, mostly a teenager going by empty buildings or just not really having a reason to be on me. So I had every intention of leaving. I lived in New York city for a little while, had some amazing opportunities came back, but lived in Utica and Clinton. And, and that opportunity now it gives me a bridge in this position.
But, you know, during this apocalypse, I took a cross country trip really safely fell in love with Colorado. Had every intention of leaving was searching for jobs of talking to realtors for apartments. And then I talked to Scott Flansburg and he told me about this project and just what was happening.
And it felt so real for the first time. It didn’t feel like something that was reliant on. You know, government funding or rely on politicians because we were all working together. And that’s, I, you know, I was talking to politicians in my first day about how exciting this is and how it’s going to work.
So that’s the difference that this makes, and that’s what gives me confidence. Now as a young person, I want to stay here now, I, now I’m looking for houses to buy here because why wouldn’t I, you know, So it just makes sense. Now I’ll be able to go to Colorado whenever I want to. And, but truth. And I hope my classmates that I graduated with an Oh nine and, you know, we.
Most of us spread, you know, and, and went all over the country. It’s not all over the world. So this is truly an opportunity like Brion said, to bring people back home to central, New York, worst mapped out in the middle of the state. This will be a place of recreation of learning. You could just stop through, it’s going to have amazing food.
There’ll be a lot of retail. Finally, back on main street. And I think the thing, the key is how community focused it is, is that we haven’t accepted a single dollar from outside of Herkimer before accepting, you know, funds that are right here. So it’s not a project to revitalize her career by changing her comer.
It’s, it’s a project to bring her back to that should beauty that I grew up six generations hearing about and seeing the architecture of, and never really, really, truly experiencing. Yeah, I think that seems clear. And, and I love that about it is, you know, even in Brion’s description. Talking about these different buildings in their history.
And, and he’s not talking about this plot of land that we’re going to build some new thing he’s talking about, you know, the Quackenbush building, that’s now going to become a historic factory and we’re going to celebrate these things and bring some life into them. And w what an incredible, what an incredible thing to do literally anywhere.
But the fact that you’re doing it right here in Herkimer obviously hits a string with me and I, and I love it. Good. Well, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention, you know, we are going to have so many other opportunities for her to come or just through Scott’s connections. We have the an all girl USA, national counting bee.
That’s coming up at the end of April and we’re accepted. You know, he’s accepting registrations for it now, and he’s hosting it virtually from her comer. So, you know, it’s just all of these different tentacles as Brion called it, that will be able to be introduced to Herkimer and the mayor. And I joked that all eyes are on her camera right now.
I was checking out the Google analytics on our website as announcements started to be made. And even after your first podcast came out and you know, Herkimer is getting a lot of attention right now. Rightfully so. And we haven’t really done anything yet, except for tell people that we’re doing things, you know, so it’s.
It’s really a beautiful thing to see how much a community can be uplifted with good news. Even during a global apocalypse, it’s just, you know, a really good feeling to be working on something that’s so sustainable and so optimistic. Well, one thing, one thing I want to bring up Matt is he is. As, just as if, if anyone went to VO Herkimer 20, and saw all the transparency of how we develop the master plan for the village of our comer, taking into account all voices we are really looking to be highly transparent.
So I’m hopeful. You will look at this as a story, right? If you take this as a transformation, it’s nice to be able to like when someone has a child, they. Oh, do you see the view? It’s moving on to his heart, his little feet, right? We really want you to, to help us make visible to your audience and to the world, what it is that we’re doing as it develops.
Right. Because, you know, we want to have pride in what we do as a team. And that team includes all those that, that benefit from it. They’re involved in it or their witness that isn’t the server. Right. It’s all that, that’s our Mo our motto is really to be transparent and how we develop this out. Yeah.
And, and I will be more than happy to try to help you do that. I am a big fan of, you know, documentation of, of the process and things like that. Not only for transparency methods, but you know, when you do pull this off and you end up with something amazing in this small town, It would be so wonderful to have a template that other folks in other towns could say, Hey, look, this is what could work.
And this is how we could, you know, bring America back it. I think this pandemic, the one thing that gives me a little bit of cautious optimism is I, I hope that this really being compressed and not being able to do anything, forces people to really just want to get out again. And, you know, cause even before this public attendance in events and.
Mainly organizations and things have been down. It’s my hope that this inspires folks to really become part of their community again and, and. Make us all a better place, right? Yes. True. If you didn’t take time to sit back and reflect during this pandemic, when you’re having some alone time on the things that are really important to you and not only investing your time into them, but jumping on the bandwagon, you know, so just to close when, when we say, and I’ve been posting it all over that there are opportunities for everyone.
Not only. Steam learning to be able to come and learn new technology, even right now off the ground, you know, we’ll be having a lot of opportunities, both volunteer opportunities and structural opportunities, you know, that are within the foundation and the LLC. So, our website has opportunity. It has a web.
Like a subscribe link or a full form. If you’re interested in knowing more about it, as we get going, people can sign up just to be transparent. And, you know, we’ll we’ll have an email list. Don’t seek it up to that. This is, this is how you know that Jordan is a true professional because before I was able to ask my closing question and tell people how they could get involved, she’s she’s already got it out.
So. She is a true pro and, and Brion, you have a massive asset on your hands there with her in closing Brion, anything else that that you’d like to say and tell folks that, that she didn’t just give us all that information. I think, I think you know, a lot of us from the area have what I call turn vision into reality, and it really is an instrumentation incrementing of the ambiguous to the, to the clarity and what we’re really trying to hopeful to do is.
We’re hoping we can take this general mission that we’re on. And make proof points along the way. So people really become encouraged. And even if they’re doing something totally offline in relationship to this, they can always peek out their peripheral vision and say, ah, it’s coming, it’s coming. And I really want you to hold us to that.
Right. We’re not afraid to commit to what we’re trying to do because we believe it’s going to, it’s going to move to realities and we really appreciate everyone’s involvement, participation input. So, stay tuned. Absolutely. And we will stay all over this story. It’s it’s just, again, it’s just so great to hear things moving in the right direction in that area.
And I couldn’t think Scott and Alice Cooper and all the team or the work you’ve done and, and the work that’s ahead of you. Cause I think we, we all know that’s going to be quite a. Quite a mountain. But if there was anybody that could climb it, it seems like you guys are putting it together.
So I appreciate that. And I thank you very much for joining the Matt masher show. And we will talk to you again soon. All right. Thank you very much. You guys have stay safe.
So. That was a wonderful interview. And I hope that you learned a lot. We will have that out and available for you to check out again. Herkimer is their website. That’s got the links to all the other things that that Jordan mentioned.

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