CenterState CEO Announces New Board of Directors Leadership

Posted on May 25, 2022

New Board Leadership 5.26.22

David Schneckenburger, of Thompson & Johnson Equipment Co., Inc., will serve as the chair of the board of directors 

SYRACUSE, NY – CenterState CEO announced it has elected new board leadership to support the organization’s mission and vision. David Schneckenburger, president and CEO of Thompson & Johnson Equipment Co., Inc., was unanimously elected as the organization’s new chair by CenterState CEO’s board of directors. Schneckenburger’s expansive business and community leadership credentials, as well as his deep engagement in the organization and a strong understanding of its strategic priorities, make him uniquely qualified for this position. He has served as a member of CenterState CEO’s board of directors and Executive Committee, as well as the Finance and Sustainability, Membership, Audit (chair), Hancock Military Affairs and I-81 committees. Most recently Schneckenburger served as secretary of the board of directors.

“David has been a constant, engaged and passionate volunteer leader for CenterState CEO since its inception, and I am proud to have him step into the role as chair of our incredible board of directors,” said Robert Simpson, president, CenterState CEO. “David is a vocal and convincing spokesperson for our small business community, stemming from his own experience running a small, family-owned business here in Central New York. A tireless worker, he is highly educated about the larger trends impacting our region and he has helped drive many of our organization's strategic priorities during his time on our board of directors and executive committee. I look forward to working with, and learning from, David during his tenure.”

“It is a privilege to continue my service with the CenterState CEO board of directors as its new chair,” said Schneckenburger. “This region is poised for growth and new opportunities. I am excited to work alongside my colleagues on the board to start this new chapter, and to lead and advance CenterState CEO’s strategic priorities aimed at strengthening business competitiveness in the Central New York region from both a retention and attraction perspective, and creating greater economic opportunity for all who call it home.”

Schneckenburger is President and CEO of Thompson & Johnson Equipment Company, a material handling equipment dealer that represents top industry manufacturers, including Toyota and Crown forklift trucks, in a service area that encompasses primarily Upstate New York east of Rochester. Before going to work for Thompson & Johnson in 1981, he worked for Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation as a sales representative. Schneckenburger is the past president of the boards of trustees of both the Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) and Dewitt Community Church, and continues to serve on both boards. Previously he was president of the Rotary Club of Dewitt and remains an active member, has coached youth recreational baseball, softball and basketball, and was the committee chair for the Syracuse East Region of Young Life. Schneckenburger has and continues to serve on Thompson & Johnson suppliers’ Dealer Councils.

Schneckenburger succeeds Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid vice president - New York Jurisdiction. During her tenure, Littlejohn oversaw the organization as it hit record levels of grant awards and strengthened member dues. Notably she led the board during the turbulence of the pandemic and its impact on the region’s economy, during which time she oversaw the launch of new strategic efforts, such as the Growth + Equity Fund, The Tech Garden expansion, the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, and its advocacy for the Community Grid replacement option for I-81. Aschair, Littlejohn fully committed to and leaned into issues of economic inclusion and racial inequities. She helped conceptualize and launch CenterState CEO’s Racial Equity and Social Impact portfolio, and continually pushed for a greater level of inclusion and diversity of staff and volunteer leadership.

Also elected as officers are:

  • Secretary: Margaret O’Connell, executive director, Allyn Family Foundation

Re-elected to a new term are:

  • First Vice Chair: Evelyn Ingram, Director of Media and Community Relations, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
  • Vice Chair: Thomas Schneider, president and chief executive officer, Pathfinder Bank
  • Treasurer: Susan Crossett, chief executive officer, CPS Recruitment, Inc.

Additionally, the election of new and renewed members of CenterState CEO’s board of directors were confirmed at the organization’s Annual Meeting on April 26, 2022, including five new directors elected to a first term that will expire in 2025:

Brian Bisaccio, Senior Vice President, Northern Region Manager, Tompkins Trust Company

Ketan Gujarathi, General Manager, Global Biologics Operations-Syracuse, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Betram L. Lawson II, President and CEO, YMCA of Central New York

Sarah Tackabury, Vice President, Managing Director, Digital Hyve

Neil Webb, Director of Growth and Markets, Ramboll

View CenterState CEO’s board of directors. To learn more about CenterState CEO, its staff and programs please visit: A headshot of David Schneckenburger is attached here for media use with credit to CenterState CEO.

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.

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