KeySource Medical

Power City Building getting a big boost

Albert Paonessa III looks to repeat the impressive growth trajectory he engineered at Anda in his new role as leader of KeySourceUSA

NIAGRA FALLS (July 26, 2017) – The Power City Building downtown is one of few structures that remains from the city’s glory days.

Somehow, the former bank didn’t get torn down during the decades of “urban renewal.” It stands on the corner of Third and Old Falls Street, providing architectural substance and echoes of a once-prosperous era that nearly vanished beneath relentless bulldozers.

The building will be fully occupied after major renovations are finished on the top floor. Two floors are now being restored as one floor with dramatic high ceilings.

Workers have begun stripping the interior walls and ceilings of the space that tops the beautiful 1925 former bank building, exposing arched windows and doorways and a massive dome that will be backlit to make the new office look hip and classy at the same time.

My friend, Rocco DelGrosso, called me the other day to tell me about the project because his company, Krislyn Construction, is doing the general contracting and he knew I would enjoy sharing the story of Albert Paonessa, III.

Paonessa, a Niagara Falls native who met his wife, JoAnne, when both were middle school students at Lewiston-Porter, recently returned to the region.

Two years ago, he retired as president of the company that owns Anda on Grand Island, where he’d started in 1991 when it was VIP Pharmaceuticals. He worked his way up to president, moving to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where Anda is headquartered 15 years ago.

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After retiring, he and his wife moved back to the region to be with family, including both sets of parents. The move also enabled the couple to provide assistance to JoAnne’s son, Michael Hibbard, when he opened his new restaurant in Lewiston, the Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen.

Paonessa has since joined forces with two private equity groups and opened KeySource USA, with plans to acquire pharmaceutical companies, including his first acquisition, KeySource Medical Group — headquartered in Cincinnati – which sells generic pharmaceuticals.

He will be opening a division of KeySource Medical in the new space at the Power City Building.

And that’s also where he plans to have some fun, running his own company with a lot more freedom than when he led 850 employees for the publicly-traded Anda.

“As a private company, I can do it the way I want to do it,” he told me last week as he surveyed the work in progress. “I’d like to start over again and I’d like to have fun!”

KeySource Medical Group sells generic pharmaceuticals to independent pharmacies around the country. Paonessa doesn’t plan to compete with the four major players who carry an average of 50,000 generic products. KeySource offers around 2,000 different generics.

“Sales of generics in 2016 was $64 billion. We’re looking for a little piece of that,” he said. “Our goal is to be the primary secondary to every independent pharmacy in the country.”

He plans to invest as much as $300,000 into the office space, which he hopes will feel as cutting edge as trend-setters in business chic like Google or Apple. The city will be providing matching grants of up to $100,000.

Paonessa looked at five buildings in the area before choosing Power City. Once he saw the building, he knew he wanted his business there. His office will overlook Old Falls Street.

“I’m going to try to build an environment where people want to come and work every day,” he said. He plans to begin hiring at least 18 pharmaceutical reps in September with hopes of a full staff of 24 reps by the end of next year.

The building’s owner, Anthony Girasole of Anwal Properties, is pleased to watch the improvements his new tenant is making, in a building that is also the home of Niagara University’s Global Tourism Institute, Neighborhood Legal Services, a customs company and a couple of medical businesses.

“Albert has certainly stepped up above and beyond what most tenants would,” Girasole said approvingly of Paonessa, adding, “He’s committed.”

Paonessa, who says the region is rich with talented pharmaceutical sales reps, is looking forward to getting his company’s Niagara Falls offices up and running. He’s encouraged by the progress all around the downtown area.

“I just have the feeling that, in the last few years, it seems to be getting better. I’m happy I can contribute to that,” he said.

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About KeySourceUSA
KeySourceUSA is a holding company of healthcare-focused companies united by a dedication to the best possible client experience. KeySourceUSA’s veteran leadership team recognized that client service had become an afterthought in many areas of healthcare and set out to deliver world-class service across the industry. Working with independent and regional providers in all 50 states, KeySourceUSA delivers the products and solutions Americans rely on to stay healthy.