Keith Laake is president and founder of Cost Control Associates, Inc. By using his financial and analytical background, he has helped develop highly systematic and successful programs to help clients reduce energy, waste, cellular and telecom costs. Through the use of these programs, Cost Control Associates has saved its clients millions of dollars.
Mr. Laake currently has responsibility for strategic planning, marketing and sales, and overall management of the firm. He also plays a significant role in managing key accounts and the development of new client programs. His articles describing strategies for reducing energy, cellular, and telecom costs have appeared in a number of regional and national publications.
“I enjoy working with organizations to help them better manage and reduce energy, waste removal and telecom costs. Cost Control Associates has experience in retail, banking, technology, healthcare and many other industries. Our innovative services and customer attentiveness make us a top choice for clients who are seeking a best-in-class solution. The average tenure of our analysts is 15 years, and our customers benefit by that depth of industry experience and commitment.”
Keith Laake received his B.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and is a certified public accountant. Prior to founding Cost Control Associates, he was chief financial officer for a retail company and prior to that, was a senior manager with Ernst & Young. Mr. Laake currently serves as chairman of the Board of Directors for Fort Hudson Health Systems and previously served on the Board and as chair of the Adirondack Regional Chambers of Commerce. He is active in a number of other volunteer organizations.
Dave Sadlocha is Senior Vice President for Cost Control Associates, Inc.
Shortly after joining the firm in 1996, Mr. Sadlocha took over management of all energy services staff and their activities.
In 2000 Mr. Sadlocha was appointed secretary of the corporation and named to the Board of Directors. In 2006 he was promoted to his current position of senior vice president.
Under the care and direction of Mr. Sadlocha, the firm’s energy, waste and telecom consulting practice has grown at a brisk pace. He has an outstanding reputation in the industry and has authored articles for national publications on leading topics including energy deregulation and procurement practices. Mr. Sadlocha participates in national conferences sponsored by professional and other trade organizations.
“It is gratifying for me to see how our staff has developed over the years. Saving money for our clients is the best part of my job. Everyday there is something to learn and a new challenge to tackle. I enjoy negotiating with utility providers to find the best rates or biggest refunds for my customers. You can’t get into a rut with this job, because you are always on the hunt, and it feels good when you come home with the prize.”
Prior to joining Cost Control Associates, Dave held management positions in finance and accounting for several national retailers including assistant controller for a New York City based national retail chain. He has a B.S. in accounting from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Allison Levin is analysis team director for Cost Control Associates, Inc. Allison is responsible for the supervision and management of all analysts and office personnel within Cost Control Associates and serves as the primary contact for many key clients.
Allison ensures that project deadlines are met, strong client relationships are maintained and serves as an integral part of the analyses team through her leadership, training, support and technical knowledge. Allison reports directly to the President and assists in budgetary, financial, and strategic planning functions within Cost Control Associates.
“The best part of my day is when a client says, ‘You made my day!’” says Allison. “That’s what we are here for—to bring the solutions and answers that help our clients better manage their utility expenses. I’m glad we aren’t one of those companies that makes clients wade through endless 800-number menus just to ask a simple question. At Cost Control Associates, a live person answers the phone. If you need information, we find it for you—when you need it rather than when we can get to it. Customer service is a top priority for us, and I’m proud of that.”
Allison Levin received her M.S.T. from SUNY Plattsburgh and her B.A. in mathematics from Boston University. Prior to joining Cost Control Associates in 1998, Allison worked for Citizens Energy in Boston providing energy efficiency services to clients. Allison is active in a number of volunteer organizations and serves on the Board of Directors for a religious organization.
Lisa Miller is marketing and communications manager for Cost Control Associates. She is responsible for marketing campaign development, social media and website content, management and creation of marketing literature, proposal development and sales presentations.
Lisa joined Cost Control Associates in 2015 and brings more than 25 years of experience in marketing and corporate communications to her position. She spent 22 years with KeyCorp, including 12 years at its international affiliate Key Equipment Finance where she was marketing and employee communications manager. Lisa earned her B.A. from Skidmore College. She is a member and board director of the Rotary Club of Saratoga Springs as well as a singer and active member of Albany Pro Musica.
Valerie Paquin is account executive and senior analyst at Cost Control Associates. She monitors general work flow, reviews claims and analyses, and trains and evaluates employee performance. She performs detailed analyses of client utility bills, supervises billing/invoicing and prepares reports. She stays on top of industry news and developments related to deregulation and new technologies. Valerie also monitors tariff changes and Public Service Commission issues while maintaining a database of utility contacts. Valerie serves as project executive on certain client projects.
“I get a real charge from making sure my clients are happy,” says Val. “I relish the challenge of digging deep to find solutions that will benefit my clients. Not only do I need to learn as much as I can about my clients’ organizations and utility needs but also spend time exploring the nuances of each state’s tariffs and rate structures. Sometimes it’s like searching for a needle in a haystack, but it feels great when I find a detail that is going to save my client money!”
Valerie received her A.B.A. in accounting from State University of New York-Adirondack. She joined Cost Control Associates as an analyst in 1999 and was promoted to senior analyst in 2002. She earned the designation of project executive in 2012. She belongs to Networking for Enterprising Women, hosted by the Adirondack Chamber of Commerce.
Bonnie Ellis is senior analyst at Cost Control Associates. She conducts routine and highly complex telecom and wireless bill analyses. She prepares refund claims, Public Service Commission complaints and requests for rate/service changes. As project executive, clients depend on Bonnie for accurate reports, recommendations and answers. To stay on top of the latest industry standards, she reviews tariffs and technical literature related to rates, deregulation and other issues. Bonnie’s coworkers rely on her creative thinking, keen eye and attention to detail.
“Securing savings for my customers is rewarding for me, especially when it presents a challenge,” says Bonnie. “When a vendor fails to understand the regulations it is required to follow, it can take determination to get to the bottom of the issue. Vendors may tell their clients there are no errors or savings, but I don’t take their word for it. I press for more information, ask probing questions and file multiple claims to get to the correct resolution. At Cost Control Associates, we leave no stone unturned.”
Bonnie joined Cost Control Associates in 1999 as an analyst and was promoted to senior analyst in 2003. She received her A.B.A. in management from State University of New York-Adirondack and has industry certification as a Certified Telecom Analyst. She volunteers at the Family Service Association’s food pantry.
Tina Croke is senior analyst at Cost Control Associates. She works with clients and partners to ensure all their needs are met from the moment the contract is signed. On behalf of her clients, Tina works with service providers to gather information, identify billing and rate errors, file refund requests and follow up to ensure correct resolution. She makes recommendations and implements alternative cost-saving rate plans. Tina has been a leader with the company’s new service offerings.
Every new client presents an opportunity for me to expand my knowledge, and I love learning new things,” says Tina. “As Cost Control Associates adds new services, I look forward to each assignment when I get to strategize about the most efficient and effective ways to serve my clients. Whether I am working on energy or telecom costs for our clients, I enjoy digging into each project and getting the job done thoroughly.
Tina studied business administration at Middlesex County College and joined Cost Control Associates as an analyst in 2008. She was promoted to senior analyst in 2016.