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OPINION: Offering A Way Forward

By Raymond J. Durso, Jr.


They say you should expect the unexpected, but no one expected the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the events of the last 18 months have turned our lives upside down and changed the way we live. 

Granted, life was already full of stress and challenges before the coronavirus made it to the U.S. But when it did arise, we were forced to adjust the way we conducted ourselves and had to adhere to many restrictions and limits.

The Genesis Group — a civic organization that unites business and community leaders working to advance regional economic, social, and cultural interests, and to foster unity and cooperation in the Mohawk Valley region — is grateful to the thousands of quality health-care workers and first responders. We are very fortunate to have them here, we admire their dedication to our personal well-being, and we thank them for their selfless service to our community. 

Looking to the future, it’s a very promising time for the Mohawk Valley region. New development, new companies, and new jobs are at our doorstep. In offering a way forward, I believe our community should stay focused on new opportunities. 

Webster defines opportunities as a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. I agree with this and believe that it’s important to have a positive attitude as well. With an upbeat outlook and a smart plan of action, our region can rise above any challenge.

If you’re looking for advice during this time of challenge, who better to turn to than one of the most inspiring women of all, who overcame more than most of us could ever imagine? Helen Keller has always been someone that we have admired. If anyone can teach us about overcoming obstacles, it’s her. Keller said “always remember during hard times that just because you may be suffering, other people always have bigger problems than you do. Plus, character truly is developed during hard times, not easy ones. It might not seem fun, but it makes you a better person if you have a positive outlook.”

Right now, our region has a plethora of opportunities to build upon. Just look at the stability of some of our local industries, such as education, health care, agri-business, banking and finance, insurance, and the emerging nanotechnology and semi-conductor industries. The Genesis Group supports these industries and has established committees and projects in many of these areas. We just need to capitalize and seize the opportunities.

Another key that’s important for growth is collaboration and partnerships. Simply put, we must all work together to move our region forward. As the saying goes: together everyone accomplishes more (TEAM). For many years, the Genesis Group has said “that we are much stronger when we work together.” Right now, unity and cooperation are a must. 

The Genesis Group continues to unite individuals and organizations dedicated to adaptive leadership. Genesis will continue to be a trusted voice that advocates for and partners with those seeking positive transformation. Now in its 21st year of serving the Mohawk Valley region, the Genesis Group is offering its own opportunities to help create positive impact. Genesis is a source for news and information about the Mohawk Valley, views and opinions, community projects, regional events, and home to The New Genesis Center for Data Analytics.

When determining a way forward, we must be mindful that life can change in a minute — as it did in the past year. Let us remember with reverence those that have been lost, while celebrating the blessings that remain and look forward to new opportunities and better days ahead.              

Raymond J. Durso, Jr., is president and CEO of The Genesis Group. Contact him at