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Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Meets, Hears Presentations from Workgroups

(May 03, 2013)

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Meets, Hears Presentations from Workgroups

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) met today with its primary agenda item a series of presentations from each of the council’s 14 workgroups.  The presentations are the first since Governor Andrew Cuomo named the FLREDC a “Best Plan” in Round II of the Regional Economic Development Council competition in December 2012, and the FLREDC’s Executive Committee reviewed and replenished the workgroup membership with more than 50 new volunteers in January and February 2013.  These volunteer groups have been charged with enhancing the region’s competitiveness and helping the council measure the progress being made within the region, particularly the overall Council goal of 50,000 new jobs by the end of 2016.

“Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership and vision, we have been able to spur the nine counties in the Finger Lakes region to successfully develop a shared vision for our economic future,” said Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy.  “The workgroups have been a dynamic part of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council process and will continue to be so in the future.  I thank them for their hard work on behalf of the people in this region.”

“Our workgroups are the mechanism that is pivotal to implementing our strategic plan and monitoring our region’s progress as we work to transform our economy,” said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Joel Seligman and Danny Wegman. “It is difficult to overstate our appreciation for the hard work of so many dedicated community stakeholders over these past three months. This is the manifestation of Governor Cuomo’s vision for regional economic development, driven at the grassroots level.”

Since January, all 14 workgroups—comprised of over 250 regional stakeholders—have labored to produce a “dashboard.” This is a standard template populated with information unique to each workgroup, such as: mission/vision, existing sector environment, performance measures, priority projects for future funding, progress on previously-funded priority projects and any other key information that can be tracked on a regular basis to measure performance. These dashboards, the product of countless hours donated by work group members, will serve as the foundation for this year’s progress report.

  • The FLREDC co-chairs wish to acknowledge and thank the following workgroup co-chairs:
  • Advanced Manufacturing - Charlie Cook, Nabil Nasr, Tyrone Reeves
  • Agriculture & Food Processing - John Noble, Jim Pierce
  • Business Services - Mike Zimmer, Ken Kaisen
  • Community Development - Stuart Mitchell, Jason Molino, Bret Garwood
  • Energy Innovation - Matt Fronk, Andy Naukam
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation - Theresa Mazzullo, Christine Whitman
  • Healthcare - Brad Berk, Chris Booth, Paul Speranza
  • Higher Education - Bill Dester, John Halstead
  • Infrastructure & Transportation - Sergio Esteban, Rich Perrin
  • Life Sciences - Rob Clark, Mikael Totterman, Maurice Zauderer
  • Optics, Photonics & Imaging - Augustin Melendez, Jim Sydor, Jay Eastman
  • Tourism & Arts - Sarah Lentini, Valerie Knoblauch, Don Jeffries
  • Workforce Development - Anne Kress, Paul Speranza
  • Eastman Business Park - Mike Alt, Mark Peterson

The FLREDC also heard two final presentations on the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) Cleaner Greener Communities Sustainability Plan, which empowers the region to create more sustainable development and encourages smart growth, and on the Path Through History’s heritage tourism marketing plan, which highlights the region’s rich heritage and promotes tourism and economic development.

As part of Round II of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) was awarded $96.2 million for 76 projects.  In the first round of the Regional Council initiative, the Finger Lakes region was awarded $68.8 million in state resources through the CFA process to support 93 projects. 

The 2013-14 New York State Budget builds on the success of the Regional Economic Development Councils by providing funding for a competitive third round, including $150 million in capital and $70 million in tax credits.  Details for the third round are under development and will be announced in the near future.

To learn more about the FLREDC, visit