A Recap of CenterState’s Annual CEO Meeting


CenterState CEO Robert Simpson addresses the gathering during the organization’s annual meeting, held April 26 at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter in Syracuse. (PHOTO CREDIT: CEO OF CENTERSTATE)

SYRACUSE — Company of the Year awards in five categories, remarks from the organization’s top executive, and a panel discussion were part of CenterState’s annual CEO meeting held April 26, which drew a crowd of nearly 600 people.

Company of the Year recipients included Raymour & Flanigan Furniture, which won in the “Over 50 Employees” category, while Wireless Business Group was honored in the “Under 50 Employees” group.

The CenterState CEO also recognized Liberty Resources Inc. in the “Nonprofit” category, Gwen Inc. in the “Minority-Owned Business” category (presented in partnership with the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance), and Kinney Drugs Inc. .in the “Community Involvement” category. Category.

In addition to the Company of the Year award announcements, CenterState CEO Robert Simpson also addressed attendees at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter in Syracuse.

In his post, Simpson explained how the Central New York area is experiencing a “time of exceptional opportunity” as it emerges from the pandemic, according to the CenterState CEO’s press release on the event.

“We are incredibly thrilled to be back in person for this event, which has always been a time for our business community to come together and renew our shared sense of purpose in advancing the trajectory of our community and of our area,” Simpson said. “The past two years have tested our resolve, but Central New York has always faced its challenges head-on. The data-driven strategies implemented over the past decade have laid the foundation for progress we are seeing today, whether in population gains, businesses investing and creating jobs in the region, the growth of our innovation ecosystem, or positioning to compete for major markets federal investments, such as the Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

In an April 28 CEO Focus email to CenterState CEO members, Simpson called the focus of this year’s annual meeting, Transcend, “perhaps the most apt adjective for this chapter in history. from downtown New York.

Simpson said he “rightly recognizes the challenges of our past,” when global economic forces rocked central New York, weakening the region’s traditional industrial base, its economic vitality and the self-image of the region.

“Fortunately, this was not the end of our story, it was just the beginning. Together, we established a new set of strategies that aligned our assets and positioned us to take advantage of global trends. We have is investing in our communities to create a sense of place and attract talent. Targeted investments have helped spur entrepreneurial activity and establish a new center of gravity for the next economy,” Simpson said in the email. “Today, we see the results of these efforts. Companies, including Amazon and Microsoft, are investing in our community. Startups can attract venture capital to accelerate growth and create jobs. New development projects continue to reshaping our horizons. These efforts, led by many members of our business community, have helped us achieve progress that is increasingly recognized internationally. national helle.

The annual meeting also included an expert panel including Naria Santa Lucia, managing director of digital inclusion and US community engagement at Microsoft Philanthropies, and Jennifer Cruickshank, head of public policy and community engagement at AmazonNew York. The roundtable focused on digital transformation, workforce inclusion, and the impact of community investment and collaboration.

“The conversation was particularly relevant given the region’s focus on digital transformation, workforce inclusion and the impact of community investment and collaboration,” said Simpson.


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