CenterState CEO Annual Event Celebrates Business of the Year Winners

Posted on April 26, 2023


Keynote Speaker Shares Opportunities for Emerging Tech Hubs

Businesses of the Year Winners: American Fashion Network, Collins Barber & Beauty Shop, Mower, Oswego Health and Symphoria

SYRACUSE, NY – CenterState CEO held its Annual Meeting, at the Convention Center at Oncenter. Focused on the theme Amplifying Opportunity, the event highlighted Central New York’s progress and explored efforts to ensure all growth is equitable.

In his message, CenterState CEO President Robert Simpson shared a message about the shifting economic forces that, in conjunction with massive investments, are expected to impact every aspect of the regional economy. He called on community stakeholders to work together to develop and execute strategies that will ensure the entire community benefits from this growth.

“Our community is no longer in a state of status quo. Micron is an incredible force that has changed our region’s economic trajectory, but it is not the only force working to our advantage,” said Simpson.” The memory market is growing rapidly; offshoring that once devastated our economy is shifting to our benefit; Central New York’s stable and resilient climate is a critical asset to people and businesses. All of this will fuel new opportunities. Our community has the power to shape the speed and direction of this progress. The real challenge is amplifying that growth while ensuring progress doesn’t come at the cost of our region’s accessible natural and cultural amenities, affordability and quality of life, the very things that attracted investments in the first place."

The event included a keynote presentation from David Hall, managing partner at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. In his remarks, Hall talked about how, post pandemic, midsized cities such as Syracuse are poised to become tech hubs, and what leaders of these communities can do to drive these opportunities.

"Rise of the Rest's fund and platform were built around the idea that great companies can start and scale anywhere — but that success hinges on community, capital and culture. Central New York is proving to be fertile ground for entrepreneurs and startups, with an ecosystem that aims to embrace innovation and risk-takers. But there is still ample opportunity to build on the region's momentum," said Hall. "CenterState CEO's commitment to creating an environment where everyone has a shot at the American Dream is precisely the mindset we aim to cultivate in rising cities across the country."

Business of the Year Winners

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

Mower - More than 50 Employees

Additional finalists: Air Innovations Inc. and King + King Architects

American Fashion Network - Fewer than 50 Employees

Additional finalists: Chimera Integrations and M3 Placement and Partnership

Symphoria - Nonprofit

Additional finalists: Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo and On Point for College

Oswego Health - Community Involvement

Additional finalists:Digital Hyve and National Grid

Collins Barber & Beauty Shop - Minority-owned Business - presented in partnership with the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance

Additional finalists:JHP Industrial Supplies Co. and Melody’s

Visit to watch video from the event, including Business of the Year recognitions, remarks from Rob Simpson, and the event’s keynote speaker. Download CenterState CEO’s 2022-2023 Annual Report at

Presenting Sponsors of the 2023 CenterState CEO Annual Meeting are Crouse Health; Equitable; Nascentia Health, Inc.; and Tompkins Community Bank. Speaker Sponsor is Armory Square Ventures. Parking Sponsor is C&S Companies. Corporate Sponsors are Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC; Bowers & Company CPAs PLLC; EDR; Hanover Development; Harris Beach PLLC; INFICON, Inc.; M3 Placement & Partnership; QPK Design, LLP; Saab, Inc.; Thompson & Johnson Equipment Co.; and Wegmans Food Markets. Supporting Sponsor is Bonadio Group. Technology Sponsor is Visual Technologies. Media Sponsors are the Central New York Business Journal and Such Chaos. Music Sponsor is Symphoria.

About CenterState CEO

CenterState CEO is Central New York's premier business leadership and economic development organization, committed to creating a region where business thrives, and all people prosper. Its vision is to be recognized as a visionary leader, effective advocate, exceptional employer and a force for positive outcomes for our community.


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