CenterState CEO Celebrates 2019’s Economic Champions!

Posted on October 29, 2019


SYRACUSE, NY – CenterState CEO’s Economic Champions Luncheon, presented by Engie Resources and Fust Charles Chambers LLP, brought together nearly 1,000 businesses, community leaders and guests to the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter. During the event, CenterState CEO recognized a record 326 companies as 2019 Economic Champions for their collective hiring of more than 3,200 employees, 1.9 million square-feet of expansions, and nearly $760 million in capital investments. A record 95 new businesses were recognized for opening their doors and 56 were highlighted for celebrating a milestone anniversary, speaking to businesses’ commitment to the local and regional economy. Companies were nominated as Economic Champions for their accomplishments throughout the year by peers, employees and staff.


“Through their job creation and investments, this year’s Economic Champions are creating the momentum necessary to propel our economy forward,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “Thanks to the vision, dedication and boots-on-the ground hard work of the businesses we celebrate today, the dynamics of our region’s economy has changed. Further boosting this success is the leadership and collaboration amongst local leaders who are aligned in their vision to create a better city and county. We have worked hard and even defied our own expectations. Now it is incumbent on us to take full advantage of this progress by celebrating these successes, sharing our story, and sustaining the positive trajectory we are seeing in our local and regional economy.”


The luncheon also featured a keynote panel of business leaders, which took a closer look at some of the unique growth stories that exemplify the type of growth celebrated at this event:


Marc Jones, founder & CEO, Dreissig Apparel Inc.

Wills Mahoney, Co-founder, Plowz & Mowz

Melissa Zell, President and Chief Operating Officer, Pioneer Companies


The CenterState CEO Community Visionary Award, sponsored by Wegmans Food and Pharmacy, was presented to Syracuse University, for embodying a vision of economic opportunity, and whose work has had a significant impact on community prosperity.


“Wegmans proudly recognizes Syracuse University as the 2019 CenterState CEO Community Visionary Award recipient for its leadership in creating, investing in and implementing community-connected initiatives and partnerships that benefit stakeholders across Central New York,” said Evelyn Ingram, director of community relations at Wegmans. “We congratulate SU for being a national leader in deploying resources to create better opportunities for veterans and their families, as well as its leadership and commitment to local procurement and hiring initiatives that support minority and underrepresented sectors of the community. As a leading employer, a hub of innovation, and a driver of economic prosperity, Syracuse University is helping to build a richly diverse and vibrant community.”


“Syracuse University is thankful to CenterState CEO and its membership for recognizing the positive economic, social, and cultural impact that our students, faculty, and staff contribute to the City of Syracuse and the Central New York region,” says Dr. J. Michael Haynie, Syracuse University’s Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, and Barnes Professor of Entrepreneurship. “As the largest private employer in the region, the University’s operations generate more than $1.1 billion of economic impact each year to the region, and through our philanthropy and student volunteerism, the University community remains deeply engaged in efforts to positively impact the concerns and opportunities represented by those who call Central New York home. We are grateful to receive the 2019 Community Visionary Award, and look forward to continuing to our partnership with CenterState CEO and many others, to create the conditions for our region to thrive.”


CenterState CEO Thanks the 2019 Economic Champions Luncheon Sponsors



Presenting:                                          Engie Resources

Fust Charles Chambers, LLP


Corporate:                                           Delta Air Lines


National Grid

Lockheed Martin


Community Visionary Award:             Wegmans Food & Pharmacy


Panel Sponsor:                                   AmeriCU Credit Union


Cow Bell Sponsor:                              C.R. Fletcher Associates, Inc.


Decor Sponsor:                                   INFICON, Inc.


Parking Sponsor:                                C&S Companies


Media:                                                 Business Journal News Network

News Radio 570 WSYR Now on 106.9 FM

Visual Technologies Corp.



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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