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CEO Focus: Celebrating Nearly 300 Economic Champions During an Unprecedented Year

By Rob Simpson


While 2020 has been an unprecedented, challenging year for businesses in Central New York, we feel it is important to recognize the bright spots — big and small — that have emerged in the midst of it all. The tenacity and resilient spirit of our members is essential to our emergence from this crisis. 

[On. Nov. 19], CenterState CEO’s virtual Economic Champions celebration, presented by Fust Charles Chambers LLP, recognized 295 companies for their collective accomplishments this year. That includes the hiring of more than 2,400 employees, 5.6 million square feet of expansions, and $752 million in capital investments. At a time of tremendous economic pressure, we recognized 88 businesses for opening new storefronts, offices, and facilities, and we highlighted 40 companies for celebrating a milestone anniversary. See the full list of businesses recognized at:

We were also proud to present CenterState CEO’s Community Visionary Award, sponsored by Wegmans, to the Allyn Family Foundation for embodying a vision of economic opportunity and having a positive impact on community prosperity. We recognized the foundation for its work in catalyzing initiatives such as Blueprint 15, the Early Childhood Alliance, Work Train, and most notably this year, advancing construction of the $25 million Salt City Market. The project will create new opportunities for diverse entrepreneurs and provides them with physical space to launch their businesses.

These accomplishments highlight the dedication and perseverance of the business community during even the most challenging of times. To all of this year’s Economic Champions, thank you for the work you do to advance not only your business, but also the entire regional economy. It is a genuine privilege to be able to support and learn from hundreds of community leaders, partners, and businesses that are working together to build back stronger.      

Robert M. (Rob) Simpson is president and CEO of CenterState CEO, the primary economic-development organization for Central New York. This viewpoint is drawn and edited from the “CEO Focus” email newsletter that the organization sent to members on Nov. 20. 

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