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Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council Announces New Co-Chair

SUNY Institute of Technology Acting President Dr. Robert E. Geer to Serve as Council Leader; Three New Members Also Named to MVREDC
(November 15, 2013)

Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council Announces New Co-Chair

The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council (MVREDC) today announced Dr. Robert E. Geer, Acting President of the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT), has been appointed as the new Regional Council Co-chair for the Mohawk Valley Region. Dr. Geer will lead the Regional Council in collaboration with Council Co-chair and President of Gilroy, Kernan & Gilroy, Inc. Lawrence T. Gilroy III, filling the position vacated by form SUNYIT President Bjong Wolf Yeigh.

“On behalf of Governor Cuomo, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Robert Geer to serve alongside Larry Gilroy as Co-chairs of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council,” said Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy. “The Regional Economic Development Councils work tirelessly to strengthen and grow New York’s economy, and Dr. Geer will be vital to advancing Governor Cuomo and the MVREDC’s mission to create jobs and maximize partnerships. We thank Bjong Wolf Yeigh for all of his hard work and dedication as Co-chair, and congratulate and welcome Dr. Geer to his new position.”

Dr. Robert Geer, who holds a Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Minnesota, was appointed acting president of SUNYIT by the SUNY Board of Trustees on June 11, 2013. SUNYIT is New York State’s leading public polytechnic institution of higher education, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in technology and professional studies.

In addition to his higher education leadership experience, Dr. Geer has academic expertise in nanoscience research and development. Previous to his appointment to SUNYIT, Dr. Geer served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany. He is also professor of Nanoscience and a founding member of the CNSE faculty.

As CNSE’s chief academic officer, Geer led the development and implementation of academic degree and outreach programs. In his role as a member of the faculty, he led various research projects in the fields of nanoelectronics, nanomaterials, and nanometrology. At SUNYIT, he is guiding the development of the Computer Chip Commercialization Center or “Quad-C,” a $125 million technology complex that leverages the same multi-faceted commercial and academic partnership approach that has proven successful at CNSE. In keeping with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s leadership and vision for an innovation-driven economy across New York, the Quad-C will create high-tech jobs and attract businesses from all over the world to conduct research and manufacturing scale-up activities, and corporate and government investment.

“Bob Geer is a great addition to the leadership of the MVREDC and I am very much looking forward to our work together in fulfilling the economic development goals and strategies of the Council,” said Gilroy, MVREDC Co-chair. “With his strong background in nanoscience and special insights into how to help the community plan for the future nanotechnology initiatives in Marcy, Bob is the perfect fit for our region. Since coming to town, I have had the opportunity to meet with him and am thrilled that we have been able to attract someone with his academic credentials.”

“I am thrilled to support Governor Cuomo’s vision for revitalizing the economy through the Regional Economic Development Council system by serving as a Council co-chair, and I look forward to working with Co-Chair Gilroy and the rest of the Mohawk Valley REDC to advance regional economic development goals,” said Dr. Geer, MVREDC Co-chair. “This is an extraordinary region, rich in resources and great in potential; thanks to the Governor’s leadership, the Mohawk Valley and all of New York are building a stronger, more vibrant economic future.”

Also, the MVREDC today announced the addition of three new members: Mark Kilmer, President/CEO of the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Dustin Swanger, President of Fulton-Montgomery Community College; and Dr. Todd S. Hutton, President of Utica College.

The Mohawk Valley has been awarded $119.2 million in state support through the first two rounds of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and CFA process for 129 projects across the region.

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s transformative approach to State investment and economic development. The Councils are public-private partnerships composed of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. As a result of the first two rounds of awards, $1.5 billion in resources have been awarded to support more than 1,400 regionally significant economic development and community revitalization projects that are creating or helping to retain an estimated 75,000 jobs across the Empire State and generating investments to grow the economy.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit