Eastman Kodak Company and Joe Robach have had a long history which began several decades ago. Joe Robach’s father Roger Robach worked at Kodak for over 30 years before being elected to the New York State Assembly. Roger Robach held several positions at Kodak and then ran for the Assembly in 1974 (Roger served in the New York State Assembly until he passed away in 1991). Joe Robach also worked for the Eastman Kodak company, primarily during the summer time when he was in college at SUNY Brockport. He also worked some time after college for Kodak on the assembly line. It was estimated at that time that Eastman Kodak had tens of thousands of employees in the Rochester community. Now, there are around 6,000 employees in the Rochester area.
The announcement of Kodak’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing really hit hard for the community. There was a lot of fear amongst employees regarding job security and for retirees worried about losing their Kodak sponsored health benefits, especially for those retirees who had not yet reached the age of 65. The issue, surrounding Eastman Kodak Company, was not lost on Joe Robach.
To try to put some minds at ease over the Kodak bankruptcy announcement, Joe Robach partnered with Brighton Securities – a local financial advisory group – to offer an informational session about bankruptcy filings and their potential impact on the community. The event at the end of January was held at the Greece Community Center and it was open to all members of the public. Over two hundred people came to the event, and they had their questions about their retirement accounts (SIP Fixed Income Fund and KRIP), health care benefits and general bankruptcy questions (particularly how proceedings work) answered to the best of the experts’ ability. The experts also spoke about issues pertaining to stock holders, bond holders and Kodak’s debts and patents.
While Joe Robach’s informational Kodak event could not answer every question or put all retirees minds at ease, it was very successful in clearing up misinformation and was very informative.