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X official, SU grad to keynote CenterState CEO annual meeting

PHOTO CREDIT: Travis Mason’s LinkedIn page

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A Syracuse University (SU) graduate who works at X, formerly Google[x], will be the keynote speaker for the upcoming 2016 annual meeting of CenterState CEO.

Travis Mason, who works in policy and government relations for X, will address the gathering at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter on April 6.

Mason is also a graduate of SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship in Public Affairs. He attended SU between 2002 and 2006, according to his LinkedIn page.


The theme of this year’s meeting is “Disrupt: Challenge the Status Quo,” CenterState CEO said in a news release issued Wednesday.

In any industry, change and risk are “constants,” Robert Simpson, president and CEO of CenterState CEO said in the organization’s news release.

“To succeed, it’s not enough to keep pace with change … dynamic businesses must stay a step of ahead of the competition and embrace forward-looking disruption to remain viable and relevant,” said Simpson. “The innovations taking place at X to advance next generation technologies embody disruptive thinking, and we are excited to have one of our region’s very own graduates returning to inspire our audience to think big about how intentional disruption can positively impact their own industries.”

Like area businesses, communities also have “much to gain from disruptive strategies,” Simpson contends.

“This is an exciting time for our region as we look to capitalize on the unprecedented investment brought forth by the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, and position ourselves as a leader in groundbreaking industries such as unmanned systems. Yet we also recognize that we have profound community challenges before us, driving the necessity of change and putting us in a unique position to constructively disrupt the status quo. In doing so, we can chart a path toward a stronger future,” he added.

Syracuse–based CenterState CEO is the region’s primary economic-development organization, representing 2,000 companies of all sizes in a 12-county region.

About Mason
In addition to his undergraduate degree from SU, Mason also earned his master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan. He has also studied at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, CenterState CEO said.

The CenterState CEO news release describes Mason as a “classically trained musician and student of innovation.”

For the last five years, he has focused on the Google’s work in autonomous technology, renewable energy, and health sciences.

From self-driving cars to airborne wind turbines, Mason works with engineers, regulators, and industry leaders to “tackle some of the world’s most challenging problems through innovation,” CenterState CEO said.

Before joining Google, Mason worked at Booz Allen Hamilton on government technology products for senior leaders at the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and State.

McLean, Virginia–based Booz Allen Hamilton is a firm that provides management and technology consulting and engineering services, according to its LinkedIn page.

Contact Reinhardt at


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