Businesses and Communities Must Collaborate and Act on Bold Future-Leaning Shared Visions to Drive Growth

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SYRACUSE, NY – More than 1,000 business and community leaders gathered at CenterState CEO’s Annual Meeting, held at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter, in Syracuse.

CenterState CEO President Robert Simpson called on those in attendance to confront critical issues by reframing challenges into attainable opportunties and establishing a shared, long-term vision for the future.

“Right now our community is faced with several tough decisions that require collaboration, vision and action,” said Robert Simpson, president, CenterState CEO. “And yet, we know we can achieve great things in the face of obstacles and negativity because we have done so before. We can look to models like the restoration of Onondaga Lake, the revival happening in Downtown Syracuse, the renovations of Hotel Syracuse, and the establishment of a fully funded Say Yes program, to not only learn how to craft a path forward but to be reminded of what can be achieved when we collaborate and work toward a common goal.”

As part of the leadership team at Honeywell, Kate Adams is responsible for managing all of the company’s legal affairs, as well as government relations; health, safety, environment, product stewardship and sustainability; and global security. At the event, she shared her perspective and experience leading Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake cleanup and restoration efforts for which she has had responsibility since joining the company in 2003. On Wednesday, it was announced that Honeywell's dredging and capping of the lake bottom has been completed.

“Onondaga Lake is becoming a source of pride and optimism for the community and an economic driver for the region thanks to the extraordinary efforts of state and federal regulators, Honeywell, Onondaga County, elected officials, educational institutions, and the community,” said Adams. “We are incredibly proud of the team that accomplished this successful project and grateful to the community for its support and engagement.”
Adams provided insight into Honeywell’s strong global growth strategy and its commitment to corporate citizenship.

CenterState CEO also announced its Business of the Year award winners at the event, recognizing the outstanding achievement of regional businesses and organizations in five categories. This year’s winners are:
More Than 50 Employees

The Digital Hyve
Less Than 50 Employees

Catholic Charities of Onondaga County

M&T Bank
Community Involvement

Cueva Contract Inc. (dba Interior Innovations)
Minority-owned Business

(presented in partnership with the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance)

Also at the event, the CenterState CEO Civic Leadership Award was presented to Charlotte “Chuckie” Holstein, upon her retirement as executive director of F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse, and in recognition of decades of service to the Central New York community.

Presenting Sponsors of the 2017 CenterState CEO Annual Meeting are CPS Recruitment, Inc. and AXA. Corporate Sponsors are Bonadio Group; Crouse Hospital; INFICON, Inc.; L. & J.G. Stickley; OBG; Preferred Mutual Insurance Company; Robert Half; SRC, Inc.; WCNY-TV, Classic FM and 415 Productions; and Wegmans Food and Pharmacy. Media Sponsors are News Radio 570 WSYR Now on 106.9 FM; Business Journal News Network; Advanced Media New York; and Visual Technologies. Free parking is courtesy of C&S Companies.

About the Keynote Speaker
Kate Adams is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Honeywell. She is responsible for managing all of the company's legal affairs including Securities and Exchange Commission filings and disclosure, corporate governance, human resources and benefits, intellectual property rights, litigation, environmental compliance, and acquisitions and divestitures. In this role, Kate is also responsible for Honeywell’s Government Relations and Global Security organizations.

From 2005 through September 2008, Adams was Vice President and General Counsel for Performance Materials and Technologies, one of Honeywell's four strategic business groups. Prior to joining the Performance Materials and Technologies leadership team, she served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel - Litigation for Honeywell.

Before joining Honeywell, Adams was a partner at Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP in New York City. Earlier in her career, Adams served in roles as law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Supreme Court of the United States; trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Appellate Section, Environment and Natural Resources division; and law clerk for Stephen Breyer, then Chief Justice United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and now Justice of the Supreme Court.

Throughout her career, Adams has held academic positions as adjunct assistant professor of law for the New York University Law School and adjunct assistant professor of environmental law for Columbia University Law School in New York City.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature with French and German concentrations from Brown University and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in Chicago, Illinois.

About CenterState CEO
CenterState CEO is an independent and forward thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce; dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. We serve as an advocate and resource for smart business, catalyze and facilitate regional growth, and promote community prosperity through results-driven partnerships, planning and problem-solving.