Community, Business and Elected Leaders Must Band Together to Disrupt Mentalities that Limit Transformative Growth

Posted on April 5, 2016

Annual Meeting Group

Leading innovator of X, Travis Mason, shares how continuous disruptive innovation can lead to success and growth.

Business of the year winners announced.

Anoplate Corp.; Chocolate Pizza Company; Le Moyne College; Dermody, Burke & Brown CPS, LLC Law Offices of Jose Perez, PC.

SYRACUSE, NY– More than 1,000 business and community leaders gathered to explore the theme of Disrupt:  Challenge the Status Quo, at its 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 disrupt the factors that create a cycle of economic stagnation, and fully sieze the wealth of opportunities available to the region through the CNY Rising plan. He challenged the region to be willing to take risks and act collaboratively to confront critical issues like poverty, government modernization and transformative infrastructure projects.

“Today our region is at a major turning point; the current challenges and opportunities before us are a provocation to do better,” said Simpson. “This requires stakeholders and partners across the community to be equally involved in the outcomes.  We all have a vested interest in a better future. As a community we must reject the status quo and be willing to put in the hard work necessary to achieve true regional prosperity.”

Travis Mason, leading innovator in policy and government relations at X, formerly Google[x], presented the meeting’s keynote address. He shared how the company pursues forward looking disruptions and innovations that lead to next generation technologies. This process enables the company to remain viable and relevant in a highly-competitive environment.

"History reminds us that not all change is growth - when the pressure to change tightens it's easy for us to do the right thing in the wrong way," said Mason. "The secret to great innovation is not a world class product but a world class process. Breakthrough ideas are born when innovators aren't afraid to be wrong, humble and nimble."

CenterState CEO also announced its Business of the Year award winners at the event.  Business of the Year awards recognize outstanding achievement in five categories.  This year’s winners are:

More Than 50 Employees
Anoplate Corp.

Less Than 50 Employees
Chocolate Pizza Company

Le Moyne College

Community Involvement
Dermody, Burke & Brown

Minority-owned Business
(presented in partnership with the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance)
Law Offices of Jose Perez, PC.

Presenting sponsors of the 2015 CenterState CEO Annual Meeting include CPS Recruitment Inc., Delta Air Lines, and NBT Bank.  Corporate sponsors are Bonadio Group, Crouse Hospital, INFICON Inc., L. & J.G. Stickley Inc., Novelis Inc., Preferred Mutual Insurance Company, SRC Inc., Time Warner Cable Business Class, and Wegmans Food and Pharmacy. Media sponsors are Business Journal News Network; News Radio 570 WSYR, Now on 106.9 FM; Syracuse Media Group; and Visual Technologies.

About Travis G. Mason
As a classically trained musician and student of innovation, Mason brings a unique approach to solving complex policy challenges for X - formerly known as Google[x]. For the last five years, he has focused on Google's most innovative work in autonomous technology, renewable energy and health sciences. From self-driving cars to airborne wind turbines, Mason works with engineers, regulators and industry leaders to advance next generation technology. Before Google, he worked at Booz Allen Hamilton on government technology solutions for senior leaders at the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense and State.

Recognized for his commitment to public policy Mason was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar and Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow. He received his undergraduate degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University in 2006 and his master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has also studied at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government as a Galbraith Scholar.

About X
X, formerly Google[x], is a team of inventors, engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs from a wide variety of backgrounds with a deep technical expertise that bring creations out of the lab to solve some of the world’s most complex challenges.

X looks for the intersection of a big problem (that if solved could improve the lives of millions or even billions of people), a radical solution (that sounds impossible or like science fiction today), and breakthrough technology.  The result is hope for possible solution, even if achieving it is five to ten years away and obscured over the horizon. The company tackles ideas that have the riskiness and ambition of early-stage research and approach them with the focus and speed of a startup. Its goal is to develop and de-risk these early-stage ideas and turn them into proven technologies that make a real impact in the world.

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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