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CEO FOCUS: Evolving our Communications and Operational Teams to Support Members and Staff

By Robert Simpson


I’ve [recently] highlighted shifts to our forward-facing work resulting from a strategic refresh process that has helped us redefine our goals, metrics, and the resources required to best meet the evolving needs of our members and the community. At the same time, we are also evolving our communications and operational teams. 

CenterState CEO’s marketing and communications team, which will be led by Elle Hanna, is the source of critical information, programs and events that enable our members, partners, and the community to stay up to date on our work and learn how they can make the most of their engagement with us. To support these efforts, we are investing resources to expand this team’s capacity in marketing, as well as bringing events and sponsorships under this department. In the coming year, this team will roll out a new strategic plan to support the organization’s growing portfolio of work, and to elevate the organization’s brand recognition locally, regionally, statewide, and nationally. Several changes are also in the works to share our news more effectively with you, including the launch of a bimonthly podcast, a monthly news email to replace our monthly newsletter in its current form, and the launch of a new website to create an enhanced source of resources, news, and information. We will also focus on using social media, blogs and targeted communications to share news as it happens in a way that is accessible and convenient. 

Our administration and human-capital team, led by Lori Dietz, oversees the day-to-day administration and operations of the organization, including human resources, finance and accounting, facilities, technology and other essential functions. In the coming year, Lori and her team will lead The Tech Garden redevelopment project. Additionally, they will advance cyber safety and security measures, provide strategic talent-recruitment support for the organization, and ensure we are meeting our fiscal responsibilities.

These teams are the critical infrastructure that enable this organization to drive impact. I am excited to work alongside them to provide our members and staff a greater level of support, and to move us closer to our mission and goals as an organization. On behalf of all the members of our new corporate leadership team, I want to thank you for your engagement as we navigate the rollout of our new organizational structure and exciting changes in the new year.      

Robert M. Simpson is president and CEO of CenterState CEO, the primary economic-development and chamber of commerce organization for Central New York. This article is drawn and edited from the “CEO Focus” email newsletter that the organization sent to members on Dec. 15.