Rochester Area Businesses Join Senator Gallivan for Business Summit at Rit

Small Businesses From Across Monroe and Livingston Counties Hear Discussions From WNY State Senator And Small Business Development Experts At RIT’s Golisano Institute of Sustainability

HENRIETTA, NY – More than 50 area employers turned out Thursday morning for New York State Senator Patrick M. Gallivan’s (R-C-I, 59th District) Small Business Summit at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) state-of-art Golisano Institute of Sustainability in Henrietta. RIT sponsored the event in partnership with the Henrietta Chamber of Commerce and the Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce.

The program featured discussions from Senator Gallivan; President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Enterprise, Mark Peterson; and business development consultant, Frank Swiatek, who also serves on Senator Gallivan’s staff as his senior advisor for small business.

The presentations touched upon several matters of importance to small businesses: Senator Gallivan discussed ongoing efforts to ease regulatory burdens on businesses in the state, Mr. Peterson outlined the economic strengths and assets inherent to the Rochester area, and Mr. Swiatek closed the program by relaying strategies that businesses of any size can employ to improve sales and expand operations.

“The economic landscape is different than it was 30 years ago when local economies thrived on several large companies’ ability to employ tens of thousands of workers,” Gallivan said. “Upstate’s future is now transitioning into an education and innovation based economy that will rely on the intellectual capital of universities like RIT and the ability of small employers to compete and thrive amidst global competition. I am extremely encouraged by the level of interest in this program and I hope each business owner took away something they can utilize to their advantage.”

“It’s important to have this kind of dialogue with companies to understand how we can partner with them to best meet their needs,” said Dr. Nabil Nasr, director of RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. “The small business community is critical to our region’s economic future and we are committed to putting our expertise and resources to work to help them succeed.”

“The future is all about talent,” said Mark S. Peterson, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise. “Our workforce needs to be trained and ready to compete in a knowledge-based economy.”

Some of the area businesses that took part include: Key Bank; Frontier Communications; The Henrietta Chamber of Commerce; Thirty Six Software; OyaGen, Inc.; High Tech Rochester; Sanford Industrial Associates, Inc.; Marketing A La Renee, Inc.; Golden Oaks Foods; Rochester Homebuilders Association; M & T Bank; Savvy Social Media For 4U; and many others.

As Deputy Leader of the Senate Republican Conference for Economic Development, Gallivan was recently named to a four-person task force made up of four Senators – two Republicans and two Democrats – that will be traveling across the state to conduct industry specific hearings with the goal of identifying and eliminating 1000 burdensome state regulations that negatively impact small business.

“New York State needs to be a partner and an asset to small businesses – not a hurdle to cross. The regulatory code in New York State contains 23 titles and fills 83 volumes. This environment has become tantamount to death by a thousand cuts for many businesses and entrepreneurs in New York,” continued Gallivan. “Today’s forum was a tremendous opportunity to hear directly from business owners in our area about the obstacles they face every day.”

About Senator Patrick M. Gallivan:

First elected in 2010, Senator Gallivan represents all or parts of Erie, Wyoming, Livingston and Monroe Counties in the New York State Senate. He is Chairman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee and has also been appointed the Deputy Leader of the Republican Conference for Economic Development.

Prior to serving in the Senate, Senator Gallivan was a member of the New York State Police and served seven years as the Sheriff of Erie County.

About Mark S. Peterson:

Mark S. Peterson has an outstanding background in regional economic development, financial administration, and high-value fund raising. He joined the Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) in 2005 and became President & CEO in April, 2009. He is a leading advocate for the Greater Rochester region, building a reputation amongst his colleagues as an exceptional leader and proactive change agent. He is strongly invested in promoting the area, attracting quality businesses, and changing lives through job creation.

In 2011, Mark was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as a member of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. Mark serves as a member of the council’s Executive Committee.

About Frank Swiatek:

Frank serves on Senator Gallivan’s staff as his Senior Advisor for Small Business. As a private sector consultant for over 30 years, Frank has conducted over 3450 presentations for organizations throughout the US and Canada, worked for numerous small businesses and over 25 Fortune 500 companies. Frank is co-author with Denny Strigl, the former President and CEO of Verizon Wireless, of the business development book, “Managers, can you hear me now? – Hard-Hitting Lessons on How to Get Real Results!”

About the Golisano Institute of Sustainability:

The Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) is a multidisciplinary academic unit of Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA. The mission of GIS is to undertake world-class education and research missions in sustainability.

GIS academic and research programs focus on sustainable production, sustainable energy, sustainable mobility and energy efficient information technology. These programs are led by a multidisciplinary team of faculty and researchers who collaborate with organizations locally, nationally, and internationally to create implementable solutions to complex sustainability programs.

The Institute was founded in 2007 with a $10M grant from B. Thomas Golisano. The GIS Ph.D. program started in 2008 – offering the world's first doctorate in sustainable production. An M.S. Program in Sustainable Systems was approved and begun in 2010. The first GIS graduates received their diplomas in 2011.

About the Henrietta Chamber of Commerce:

The Henrietta Chamber of Commerce is a full service local business support organization whose mission is to serve as a catalyst to develop and implement strategies to inspire the growth of the Henrietta area as a "Community of Excellence."

About the Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce:

2013 marks the Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce’s 43rd anniversary serving the business and community interests of the Finger Lakes region. Promoting business development and quality of life, the LCACC membership is over 1,000 businesses and families in Livingston and surrounding counties.