CenterState CEO Annual Meeting Celebrates Business of the Year Winners

Posted on April 11, 2024


Keynote Speaker Highlights Impact of AI and the Need to Shape How the Technology Grows

Businesses of the Year Winners: NBT Bank, Food Bank of Central New York, Drakos Dynamics, Crouse Health and SGTR LLC

CenterState CEO’s 2024 Annual Meeting, through the theme Aligned: Leading at the Pace of Change, highlighted the region’s new growth trajectory and need to embrace the speed of this change. The event brought together more than 800 business and community leaders to celebrate Central New York’s historic period of progress and future growth trajectory.

In his message, CenterState CEO President Robert Simpson talked about the opportunity for this community to think bigger about its own economic future and to shape the growth that is coming.

“The pace and scale of change that upon us is unlike anything we have experienced before,” said Simpson. “It's already testing our ability to keep up, and it's only going to accelerate. In fact, by the end of this decade, there will be more people living in Central New York than at any other time in history. While this level of growth is what we have aspired to and invested in for decades, it comes with real and urgent challenges that our community must rise to meet. Housing, transportation and energy production are just a few of the systems that are going to be strained by this moment we are in. It’s time to put the age of small thinking behind us and start a real conversation about what is now necessary and possible.”

The event included a keynote presentation from Elizabeth Kelly, CEO of the U.S. AI Safety Institute at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, who shared real-world opportunities of artificial intelligence (AI) and how this rapidly evolving technology affects people and business. During her remarks, Kelly discussed the need to understand AI’s capabilities and risks in order to safely advance its adoption and potential for innovation.

Read the 2023-2024 Annual Report.


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:


Crouse Health - More than 50 Employees

Additional finalists: Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC; Tompkins Community Bank; and Woodford Bros., Inc.

Drakos Dynamics - Fewer than 50 Employees

Additional finalists: 325 Productions, Potter Heating & AC - Perrone Plumbing Services, and ResilienX

Food Bank of Central New York - Nonprofit

Additional finalists: Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, ConnextCare and Housing Visions

NBT Bank - Community Involvement

Additional finalists: CPS Recruitment, Inc.; Firley, Moran, Freer & Eassa, CPA, P.C.; and Novelis, Inc.

SGTR LLC - Minority-owned Business – presented in partnership with the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance

Additional finalists: Brackens Financial Solutions Network, Cocoa’s Candle Bar, and La Liga


Visit CenterState CEO's YouTube page to watch videos from the event, including Business of the Year recognitions, remarks from Rob Simpson, and the event’s keynote speaker. Download CenterState CEO’s 2023-2024 Annual Report.


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