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2020 Annual Meeting


The 2020 NYSEDC Annual Meeting is going virtual!



Traditionally held in May, the NYSEDC Annual Meeting is hosted in Cooperstown, New York. This three-day program includes keynote speakers, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and the NYSEDC Awards Ceremony.  Due to the COVID-19, we are pleased to provide a digital alternative with speakers from around the country. 

September 1, 2020

10:00 AM
Welcome & Opening Remarks
Ryan Silva, Executive Director, NYSED
10:15-11:15AM - General Session
NY Forward: How NYS Leaders Are Working Together To Build Back Stronger 

New York State is facing an unprecedented crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our public health and our economy have been forever changed. We need to think differently and creatively about what our economy looks like once the public health crisis ends. Hear from state leaders about the actions their agencies are taking to leverage public sector investments to keep our economy moving forward and built back stronger. 

Moderated by Heather Briccetti, President & CEO, Business Council of New York State (BCNYS)

  • Eric Gertler, President, Empire State Development Corp. (ESD)
  • Doreen Harris, Acting President & CEO, New York State Energy Research & Development Agency (NYSERDA)
  • Roberta Reardon, Commissioner, New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL)
  • Sarah Salati, Chief Commercial Officer, EVP Commercial Operation, New York Power Authority (NYPA)

11:30AM-12:30PM - Breakout Sessions

Adapting and Surviving: The Tourism Economy in New York State

With more than 250 million visitors, and an economic impact over $110 billion annually, tourism has long been a leading contributor to the success of New York State’s economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the tourism industry, with an estimated decline of 60% in 2020 so far. Hear directly from tourism leaders on the ground how they are adapting and what we need to do to help support our tourism economy during these challenging times.

Moderated by Ross Levi, Executive Director/VP, New York State Division of Tourism – I LOVE NY

How Clean Energy Will Power New York’s Recovery Efforts

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act is an unprecedented investment by New York State into the clean energy economy; setting ambitious but achievable goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050 and achieving a carbon-free electricity system by 2040. With ambitious goals comes new challenges and opportunities to build an industry cluster around clean energy technology, innovation, manufacturing, distribution, and assembly. Hear from some of the industry’s leading experts on how communities need to prepare and position themselves for economic growth opportunities in the clean energy economy.

Moderated by Lori Borowiak, NYSERDA

Breakout Sessions

The New Economy: How Entrepreneurship and Innovation Will Help Drive Our economy in a Post-Pandemic New York

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, communities from Buffalo to Brooklyn and everywhere in between were growing with investments in technology and the innovation economy. The next generation of work was being developed with co-working spaces, strategic partnerships, and startups finding the resources they needed to grow their businesses. Where do these efforts currently stand? How are the innovative economy leaders adapting to the new normal of remote working and virtual meetings?

Moderated by Everton Henriques, New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership(NY MEP) Solutions Director, FuzeHub

Placemaking During A Pandemic: How organizations are adapting to the new normal and building sustainable communities in which to live, work, and play.

Over the past decade, there have been focused efforts by economic developers to build sustainable communities in which to live, work, and play. The concept of placemaking has new meaning with the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns, working from home, and travel restrictions have impacted communities across the country. Hear from industry experts on why placemaking should be an essential part of a community’s economic development strategy and learn as they share best practices to keep placemaking efforts moving forward.
Moderated by Patrice Frey, President & CEO, Main Street America

  • Jahkeen Hoke, Chief Development Officer, South End Development
  • Bob Radliff, Executive Director, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
  • Larisa Ortiz, Managing Director, Research & Analysis, Streetsense
  • Lenny Skrill, Assistant Commissioner, NYS Homes and Community Renewal

General Session

Equity and Inclusion: How Economic Developers Can Help Address Systemic Racism in Our Communities

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated and exposed the inequities in our society. Numerous studies have shown that African American and Hispanic communities have experienced worse public health outcomes from COVID-19. Minority-owned businesses have had less access to economic recovery tools; many are in industries (service-based, retail, food, personal services, etc.) that do not have the ability to transition to a virtual format easily. Economic developers have a unique role and responsibility to address systemic racism by providing opportunities to all members of the community they serve. Hear from thought leaders from around the country about programs, policies, and initiatives economic developers should considering as they work to increase the quality of life for all communities.

Moderated by Sarah Lee, CEO, Think Dutchess

September 2, 2020

10:15-11:15AM - General Session

Best Practices in COVID-19 Recovery Efforts From Around the Country

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every corner of the country; urban, suburban, and rural communities have been impacted by the spread of this disease, forcing closures and slowing our national economies. States have been presented with challenges but also unique opportunities to lead, redefining and restarting their economies with creative programming, polices, and initiatives. Learn from the association leaders of California, Texas, and Florida how other large states are grappling with the new normal and adapting their economies.

Moderated by  Jeff Finkle, President, International Economic Development Council 

  • Beth Cicchetti, CEcD, Executive Director, Florida Economic Development Council
  • Carlton Schwab, President, Texas Economic Development Council
  • Gurbax Sahota, CEO, California Association for Local Economic Development
  • Ryan Silva, Executive Director, New York State Economic Development Council

11:30AM-12:30PM - Keynote Session

The Status of Site Selection in the United States: Adapting to the COVID-19 Pandemic

With projects including GlobalFoundries, Tesla, Cree, Crown Holdings, Hood, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, New York State is highly competitive in attracting large-scale projects that bring billions of dollars in private-sector investment and thousands of jobs to our communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has perhaps forever changed the site selection model. How are developers and companies adapting? What can local economic developers do now to prepare to shape future growth? Learn from the nation’s leading experts on where the industry is heading and how they have adapted to the new normal. 

Moderated by Rick Weddle, President & CEO, Site Selectors Guild (SSG)

12:30 - 1:00 PM - Lunch break

1:00-2:00PM - Breakout Session

Federal and State Resources in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has called for an unprecedented response from government to keep our economy afloat. From the CARES Act to additional private sector capital to future rounds of stimulus, federal and state agencies have been called on to create public/private partnerships to combat the current economic recession. Hear from the leaders of these agencies how they have adapted their programs and operating model to meet the daily challenges and needs of our economy. Learn about the programs and initiatives that economic developers can bring back to our local communities.

  • Linda Cruz Carnall, Regional Director, Economic Development Administration (EDA)
  • Steve Bulger, Northeast Regional Administrator, Small Business Association (SBA)
  • Malcolm Guy, Coordinator, Government & External Affairs, Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA)

2:15-3:15PM - Closing General Session

The Innovation Economy: Leveraging Technology Through Academia to Aid COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Efforts

The global pandemic has created challenges and opportunities for the innovation economy. Many of the traditional economic development tools we have relied on (grants, tax credits) are on hold due to state and federal budgetary constraints. When economies are struggling and unemployment is high, innovative partnerships between the private sector and academia have traditionally led our recovery efforts. Hear from three leading industry experts about how the recovery from our current economic challenges will be tied directly to entrepreneurship and our ability to leverage public/private partnerships effectively.

Moderated by Marnie Lavigne, Ph.D., President & CEO, Launch NY

  • Julie Lenzer, Chief Innovation Officer, University of Maryland
  • Heather Hage, Vice President of Industry and External Affairs, SUNY Research Foundation 
  • Sheneui Weber, Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development, California Community Colleges

Closing Remarks