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Marketing Member Spotlight Cover Story

Improving Rochester’s Schools Website Accessibilty





1886 Malt House www.1886malt.com ATVentureCenter www.atventurecenter.com AV Science Inc www.avscience.com Best Buddies Rochester www.BestBuddies.org Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, Inc. www.SheenHousing.org Black Button Distilling www.blackbuttondistilling.com Breakout Games www.breakoutgames.com Breakthrough Leadership Group www.bktlead.com Brookfield Renewable renewableops.brookfield.com Buckmans Car Wash www.buckmanscarwash.com Burgess & Miraglia, P.C. www.burgessmiraglia.com cheribundi, Inc. www.cheribundi.com Crickler Vending Company, Inc. www.cricklervending.com Dunn and Rice Design, Inc. www.dunnandrice.com EagleDream Technologies LLC www.EagleDream.com equaTEK Interactive, Inc. www.equatek.com Eyemart Express www.eyemartexpress.com Farash Foundation www.farashfoundation.org First Choice Coffee Services www.firstchoiceservices.com Flower City CBD www.flowercitybev.com Gateway Outdoor Advertising www.gatewayoutdoor.com Hansford Parts & Products www.hpproc.com Howard Hanna Real Estate Services colleenwightman.howardhanna.com Ingleside Machine Co., Inc. www.inglesidemachine.com Kettle Ridge Farm www.kettleridgefarm.com Larimer Law, PLLC www.larimer-law.com Larsen Engineers www.larsenengineers.com Lincoln Hill Farms www.lincolnhillfarms.com Love Beets Production LLC www.lovebeets.com One Stop Janitorial & Office Supply www.onestoprochester.com OptiPro Systems, LLC www.optipro.com Paradigm of NY, LLC www.paradigmofny.com Proforma Foley Team www.proformapromoproducts.com Red Queen Roc City Cannabis Ltd. www.roccitycannabisltd.com ROC Relocation www.rochester-relocation.com Rochester Psychological Associates, PLLC www.rochesterpsych.com RocTerra www.rocterra.org Sandler Training/Gregor Ventures, LLC www.gregorventures.sandler.com Sherwin-Williams www.sherwin-williams.com Signature Property Management, LLC www.signaturepropertymanagementllc.com TGW Studio www.tgwstudio.com The Shore Foundation www.theshorefoundation.com TOPTICA Photonics, Inc. www.toptica.com Volunteers of America Upstate New York www.voaupny.org Worldwide Electric Corporation www.worldwideelectric.net Companies highlighted in

represent Rochester Chamber Partner members




rom a business and economic perspective, one of the most overlooked assets in our region is education. I recently had the honor of attending an A Community Together (ACT) for Education meeting with retired West Irondequoit Central School District Superintendent Jeff Crane and many of his colleagues. ACT for Education is an initiative by public schools in the Monroe and Orleans BOCES districts, Rochester City School District, businesses, and community members aimed at garnering community support of public education. At the meeting, I learned that public education is the number two employer in our region. This made me think about how many jobs are attached to education and how many families and other businesses are supported by it.

New York is at the forefront of the nation in education investment and will continue working to ensure that our schools have the resources they need to cultivate the minds of our future leaders.

Every year, we hear about school taxes, funding, and academic outcomes, but we often forget the economic impact that our education community has on the Rochester region. From superintendents to principals to guidance counselors to teachers to teachers’ aides to support staff, the jobs created by education bring a significant economic impact. As a former mayor, I can attest that every dollar that comes into our community through salaries or other means circulates four to seven times through spending on housing, transportation, food, clothing, entertainment, and much more.

In one year alone, our area’s public schools have also raised more than a half million dollars for local charities, served more than 100,000 hours of volunteerism, and collected more than 80,000 items for food banks and clothing drives. So beyond just jobs and economic impact, public schools also bring a sense of social responsibility to our community. I applaud the leadership of schools in our region for the work they do in helping shape our children into the young leaders of our future.

When all of us are faced with school budget decisions or funding decisions coming in from local districts, Albany or Washington, keep in mind that the money is not just supporting our children, it is supporting so many of our region’s parents, neighbors, friends, and businesses. That said, I am a firm proponent of New York State’s two percent property tax cap. Fiscal responsibility is crucial, as is ensuring that we don’t price residents out of their homes and working to make Upstate New York an attractive place to live for young people and families.

Despite the disappointing performance of the Rochester City School District, we have some of the best-rated high schools in the nation right here in our region. By and large, these systems do a tremendous job educating our children and preparing them for the future. They also provide great support for workforce development and multiple pathways to work which help reduce poverty. BOCES is also an often-overlooked asset in our community, preparing not only young students, but also adult learners for the jobs of now and the future.

I also want to reinforce the value of higher education. The University of Rochester is the largest employer in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region. U of R, along with the 18 other higher education institutions here make up an economic powerhouse for our community. Many of our colleges and universities draw students and faculty from outside the state and outside the country, which brings in even more revenue to the region. It also exposes those from elsewhere to potential lifelong relationships and the amazing quality of life in our region, potentially keeping them and their spending power here for the long term. Yes, many students leave school mired in debt.

As a parent, I fully understand the financial challenges of going to college. Schools and government programs are working to mitigate student debt through scholarships, financial aid, and grant programs, but I contend that the earning potential of a degree in many cases is worth the investment in higher education. For those averse to accumulating that type of debt or not interested in college, there are many career and technical programs available to put people on a path to much-needed and well-paying jobs. As a trustee for the State University of New York, I have seen first-hand the positive impact higher education has, and can have, on the economic health of communities. Our region’s 19 colleges and universities drive billions of dollars into the Finger Lakes every year, provide a strong pipeline of talent, and serve as hubs for innovation and entrepreneurship. Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is always honored to highlight the contributions of businesses and business leaders in our community. I am now pleased to reinforce the value of education in terms of what it brings to our economy. My sincere gratitude goes out to our educational institutions for what they do for not just our children, but for all of us every day.

Bob Duffy President & CEO Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce


Human Resources Benefits Benchmarking Data Now Available

The 2019/2020 Rochester Chamber Policies and Benefits Survey, released in April 2019, contains information from 105 participating Rochester Chamber member organizations from the Rochester, NY area, as well as national data provided by 1,621 organizations across the country. These organizations responded to more than 300 questions on a variety of topics in the area of health and welfare benefits, retirement benefits, pay practices, working conditions, paid time off, part-time benefits, recruitment, training and development and more. This survey will be conducted again in September 2020. Corporate and Partner members will be invited to participate in this and other 3rd quarter surveys in June 2020. If your organization participated in this survey in 2019-20, but you didn’t receive the complimentary results, and your membership is current, please contact Kathy Richmond at (585) 256-4618 or Jennifer SuppÊ at (585) 256-4608 to request a resend. If you would like to order this or other surveys, please click here to download an order form.

Summer HR Benchmarking Surveys Start Soon

In mid-June, Corporate and Partner members will be sent an email invitation to sign up to participate in a variety of benchmarking surveys taking place throughout the summer. Members that participate automatically receive complimentary results as a benefit of membership. Below is a summary of upcoming surveys.

Health Benefits Survey

This comprehensive benchmarking survey collects Rochesterarea data on many health insurance topics including: average health plan premiums, domestic partner and part-time benefits, retiree benefits, high-deductible and selfinsured health plans, and dental plans.

Pay Trends Survey

This annual survey reports pay adjustments (merit, cost of living, etc.) received as a percent of pay in firms giving increases.

Holiday Closing Survey

This annual survey reports anticipated 2020 paid holiday observances. Emails with web survey links for each of the above surveys will be sent out to those who sign up. To sign up to participate in any/all of the summer surveys, click here. Please contact Kathy Richmond at (585) 256-4618 or Jennifer SuppĂŠ at (585) 256-4608 with any questions on surveys. As a reminder, only Corporate and Partner members are eligible to participate in Rochester Chamber benchmarking surveys. To discuss options for upgrading membership, or joining Rochester Chamber, so that your company may participate in various wage and benefits benchmarking surveys, please contact Kevin Donahue in membership at (585) 256-4651.



Greater Rochester Quality Council, a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce affiliate, presented its 13th annual Performance Excellence Awards. GRQC presents the awards to discover, recognize, and help others learn from high-performing organizations. GRQC’s highest honor, the George K. Hansen Exemplar Award, went to Rochester Regional Health for its Optimizing EMR Alerts: Improved Med Administration initiative. The George K. Hansen Exemplar Award is only given when an organization demonstrates exceptional excellence, organizational-wide commitment, and strong dedication to sustained continuous improvement.

2019 GRQC Performance Excellence Award recipients


George K. Hansen Exemplar Award Rochester Regional Health

Gold • JN White: Streamlining Front End Processes • Regional Transit Service • Rochester Regional Health System – High Five: Achieving CMS 5 Star Quality Measure • Improvements (LTC)





• Highland Hospital – Point of Use Cleaning in OR • Rochester Regional Health System – Managing an Outbreak and Winning the Battle (UMMC) • Trillium Health – Rapid Start Antiretrovirals Process Model • Xerox Webster - EA Toner Quality Improvement

• Gorbel – Order Fulfillment Excellence: Inquiry to Quote


Bronze • Rochester Regional Health System – Real Time Patient Feedback (NWCH)

• Harris Corporation, Tactical Communications Business – Voice of the Customer Process Improvements • Paychex – Labor Power Cost Reduction • Rochester Regional Health System – The CAUTI DeCATHlon • URMC Comprehensive Stroke Center at Strong Memorial Hospital

Bronze • Highland Hospital – Late Tray Project • TLF Graphics – Time Clock Project • URMC Pediatric Asthma Team at Golisano Children’s Hospital

GRQC is a membership organization that teaches leaders across business, health care, education, non-profit, and government sectors to improve organizational performance through training, program presentations, and networking. Visit www.GRQC.org to learn more.


Marketing member


This year, Rochester Chamber issued an RFP, or Request For Proposal, to all of its many marketing members. Our goal - to find an organization that could help us convey the many benefits of Rochester Chamber membership to businesses in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region. We knew we would need killer strategy and exacting digital execution to break through the crowded, fast-paced landscape. After a rigorous review process and very tough decision, we were pleased to select Mason Marketing as our agency on this project, and look forward to sharing more details of our work together in an upcoming issue! In the meantime, we would like to recognize the other six incredible organizations that impressed us with their energy, creativity, and detail-oriented approach. We hope that they might be able to use their talent and expertise to address your marketing needs, just as we look forward to working with them in the future.

Advance Media New York Advance Media New York has offices in downtown Syracuse and is headquartered at One World Trade Center in Manhattan.

“We start by understanding our customer and designing and delivering innovative marketing solutions to meet each business’ needs in today’s complex digital world. Think of Advance Media New York as an extension of your marketing team, providing additional support, resources and knowledge to make the most of your internal team’s efforts. Together, we can achieve your business goals while providing useful marketing insight and solutions.” Michele Sardinia, VP of Digital Solutions, Advance Media New York

Areas of Expertise • Marketing campaign development and execution • Content marketing • Research and data • Website development • Video and event marketing and more For more information and to work with Advance Media New York, contact: Michele Sardinia, VP of Digital Solutions 315.382.2711 msardinia@advancemediany.com

Antihesis Advertising Areas of Expertise Creating simple, surprising solutions for a diverse set of clients in categories such as: • Healthcare • Human Services • Senior Care Marketing • Banking & Financial Services • Higher Education • Legal Services For more information and to work with Antithesis Advertising: Larry Kleehammer 585.944.3996 larry@antithesisadvertising.com

“When we founded Antithesis, our goal was to be the kind of agency we’d want to work with if we were clients. As a result, we listen harder, collaborate more closely and always try to bring you a range of ideas that make you say “wow”. And we do it all without the luxury price tag of a larger agency – so clients get great work that gets results, without breaking the bank.” Kent Joshpe, Co-owner & Creative Director, Antithesis Advertising

Digital Hyve Areas of Expertise • Search Engine Marketing & Optimization • Social Media Advertising • Targeted Digital Advertising • Website Design & Development • Content Development & Marketing • Creative Brand Development

For more information and to work with Digital Hyve: David DiProsa, Regional Director, Digital Hyve 585.202.0259 dave@digitalhyve.com

“In 2018, Digital Hyve was named the 52nd fastest private growing company in the nation according to Inc Magazine’s 5,000 list and the 5th fastest growing marketing & advertising company in the USA. Digital Hyve was also named one of the top 360 businesses in the USA by Entrepreneur Magazine. No one spends money on advertising for fun. The reason we have grown at such a tremendous rate is because we deliver measurable and meaningful results through targeted digital marketing for our clients. We have never asked any client to sign a contract for any period of time because our belief, since the beginning of our company, was that if we aren’t delivering a return on investment, we don’t deserve our clients’ business. If you want to ensure that your marketing dollars are being utilized as efficiently as possible, give us a shout!” Jeff Knauss, CEO & Co-Founder

Dunne Goodwin Areas of Expertise • Social Media Management • Social Media Advertising • Content Marketing

For more information and to work with Dunne Goodwin: sheiladunne@dunnegoodwin.com

“Many brands are still not taking full advantage of the power of social media and digital marketing. Our customized digital marketing packages leverage the latest digital marketing tools and strategies to help unlock this potential and fuel business growth. We are committed to providing cutting-edge and innovative solutions to our clients in an increasingly digital world to help our clients stay ahead of the transformation.” Sheila Dunne, President

Grid Marketing Areas of Expertise • Branding • Budget Planning / Strategy • Digital Marketing “At Grid, we work with companies of all shapes and sizes to plan and execute marketing campaigns that drive your unique business goals. From designing your logo to producing a television commercial, we approach every campaign by defining specific objectives, identifying the ideal demographic, crafting the right messaging, and delivering it in the most effective ways.” Cassandra Moffitt, President

• Photography • Social Media • Websites & eCommerce • Video Production

For more information and to work with Grid: Cassandra Moffitt cassandramoffitt@gridnewyork.com

LPi Areas of Expertise • Targeted Display • Email Blast Campaign • Social Media Advertising • Social media creation and posting • Website development • Video Development • Pay Per Click For more information and to work with LPi: Ron White 585.729.0441

“We work with our clients on a personal level to help create a digital strategy that is a fun process, stress free, and will ultimately maximize their return on investment!” Ron White, Digital Sales Executive

Conscious Capitalism: How This Growing Movement Can Be A Competitive Advantage Guest Essay by Andrew Brady, Chief Evolutionary Officer, The XLR8 Team


n 1776, Adam Smith published the Wealth of Nations, laying the groundwork for the capitalist system whereby wealth could be created when individuals were free to produce and exchange goods as they pleased. The results were astounding: In just a single century from 1800-1900, global per capita incomes grew by twice as much as they had grown in the previous 18 centuries combined. The rise of capitalism and industrialization also led extreme poverty to plummet from 90% in 1800 to less than 10% today. Over the same period, life expectancies more than doubled. It is said that even a working-class American is better off than kings of centuries past, with better technology, a world of information at their fingertips and access to antibiotics that routinely treat what were once deadly diseases. Despite the dynamism of the capitalist system, a 2016 Harvard study showed that 51% of millennials do not support capitalism as the best way to organize our economy. The reason for the growing dissatisfaction in capitalism shouldn’t be a surprise. Despite impressive growth, capitalism in its current form has led to historic levels of inequality

and is using our planet’s resources at an unsustainable rate. Yet while our current form of capitalism asserts that the purpose of a business is to maximize shareholder returns, it is neither a foundational nor inherent principle of capitalism itself. In fact, the concept is just a few decades old. The original formation of corporations was for a societal purpose. Corporations took on the building of hospitals, bridges, roads and other projects deemed too risky or expensive for individuals or governments to accomplish. They were closely monitored by the government and charters could even be revoked if the corporations failed to fulfill their public purpose. Well into the 1960s, corporations were widely believed to owe something in return to the communities in which they were embedded and to the economic systems that allowed them to thrive. All that began to change in 1970, when future Nobel economist Milton Friedman argued that the only “social responsibility of business is to increase its profits,” or as Gordon Gekko would famously sum up the movie Wall Street, “Greed is good.”

In 2007, Raj Sisodia embarked on a study of companies that seemed to be doing things a different way. What did companies like Google, Starbucks, Wegmans, Southwest Airlines and Whole Foods have in common? His book Firms of Endearment outlined four common principles of what came to be known as Conscious Capitalism: Higher Purpose – A company needs profits to survive, but the purpose of the company should be more than to maximize profits. Architects aspire to build awe-inspiring structures and doctors aspire to save lives. Yet too often, business leaders don’t articulate aspirations beyond profits. Purpose guides culture, informs decision-making, engages employees and inspires stakeholders. Conscious Leadership – Gone are the days of command-and-control, hierarchical leadership. Employees today, especially millennials, want to be engaged and inspired by their leaders. Conscious leaders embody the purpose of the organization and are servant leaders that empower employees.

Conscious Culture – Many companies have a mission and values on their website. Far fewer truly live it. Conscious cultures are values-driven, invest in the development of their people, and actively seek to create environments that both prioritize the wellbeing of employees and help them find fulfillment in their work. Stakeholder Orientation – Rather than prioritizing stockholders, these companies seek to build long-term relationships that balance the needs of the customers, employees, suppliers, the community, the environment and other stakeholders (including stockholders). Sisodia’s research showed that by not focusing just on the bottom line, Firms of Endearment ended up being far more successful in the long term, beating the S&P500 by 8x over 10 years! In other words, not only were they doing well by doing good, but they were actually doing better by doing good! The Conscious Capitalism movement is growing. Employees, especially of younger generations, are increasingly seeking out companies that make a positive impact. They’re also being more “conscious”

consumers, by voting with their wallets to support brands that align with their values. CEOs are taking notice: -When Young Presidents Organization surveyed their members in January, 93% agreed that business should have a purpose beyond profit and 74% said that their view on the role of business in society had changed in the past five years. -In his 2018 letter to shareholders, Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, the world’s largest investor, recognized that “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

While Wegmans was rightly recognized in the original Firms of Endearment study, there are many more companies in Rochester deserving of recognition. We started a Conscious Capitalism chapter in Rochester to bring those companies together to create a learning community that shares stories and best practices to elevate the consciousness of business in Rochester. In a recent podcast interview and again at our annual conference earlier this month, Bob Duffy declared that Rochester could be a “beacon for Conscious Capitalism.” We couldn’t agree more and we hope you’ll join the movement.

If Conscious Capitalism can be such a strong competitive advantage for a company, what if our entire region embraced the Conscious Capitalism ethos? It would help to attract and retain talent in our region and entice companies to move here all while creating economic growth, not to mention that having more purposeful, community-minded companies would lead to more inclusive prosperity for ALL of Rochester.

Presenting Sponsor:

Nominate your fast-growing company for the Rochester Chamber Top 100. The 2019 Rochester Chamber Top 100 Awards dinner is November 6. NOMINATE TODAY! GreaterRochesterChamber.com

s p o n s o r s h i p s ava i l a b le The Awards are a premium net working oppor tunit y, helping you gain direct access to business decision makers. • Competitive advantage • Align yourself with the industr y’s best • Unrivaled brand exposure.


Rochester Chamber

Enhances Insurance Benefits Program


by: Burt Parks • Sr. Director, Business Services


reater Rochester Chamber of Commerce constantly reviews programs and services to better benefit our members. After discussions with many stakeholders and reviewing current business insurance trends, we have redesigned and enhanced our business insurance program. With our new Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Insurance and Benefits Program, we look to offer the best possible solutions to meet the individual and business needs of our members. We are excited to partner with Bond Financial for health insurance and employee benefits. We have also teamed up with BlueMark Advisors to offer executive employee benefits and wealth management services, and USI for business, property, and causality insurance. These firms are leaders in their areas of expertise and follow best business practices. As partners, Rochester Chamber plans to hold them to the highest standards of customer service as we have held ourselves to over the years in providing our members with insurance products and services. Through our partnerships with Bond Financial, BlueMark Advisors, and USI, Rochester Chamber offers a full suite of insurance and employee benefits services for any size business.

Please call or email Megan Ames (585) 256-4630 • Megan.Ames@GreaterRochesterChamber.com to learn more about the new and improved Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Insurance and Benefits Program.

YOUNG WOMEN OF DISTINCTION AWARDS HONOR NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS The Women’s Council, a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce affiliate, presented its annual Young Women of Distinction Awards to Annabelle Carney of Pavilion Central School, Lauren Cody of Honeoye Falls-Lima High School, Alyssa Libonati of Spencerport High School, and Karenna Thomas of Wilson Magnet High School. The scholarship program supports the Women’s Council’s belief that young women with promise today will become tomorrow’s leaders. Modeled after the ATHENA Award, the program is designed to discover high school seniors who have displayed outstanding leadership, academic excellence, and involvement in the nine-county Rochester and Finger Lakes region. Four top recipients, one each from the Rochester City School District, Monroe County east, Monroe County west, and the eight regional counties surrounding Monroe, receive a $2,500 scholarship.

Recipients Pictured left to right: Annabelle Carney Pavilion Central School

Alyssa Libonati Spencerport High School

Lauren Cody Honeoye Falls-Lima High School

Karenna Thomas Wilson Magnet High School

Other 2019 Young Women of Distinction Award finalists included

For more information on the Women’s Council, visit www.RocWomensCouncil.org.



#ROC By: Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson Massachusetts Institute of Technology Pictured left to right: Jonathan Gruber Professor, MIT Department of Economics Simon Johnson Professor, Global Economics and Management


he decades that followed World War II were good to Rochester, New York. By 1970, the Rochester metro area had the 16th highest average income of all U.S. metro areas – just a few percentage points behind the average for the New York City Area. This impressive performance was built on the back of one of the most innovative sectors in the U.S. economy. Companies like Kodak and Xerox dominated the city’s growth with innovations in cameras and photocopying. These companies provided high paying jobs which led to a robust standard of living in the city. Things are quite different today. Rochester now has the 113th highest average income in the U.S., and has fallen a full 25% below New York City. What happened in Rochester mimics what has happened all over our nation. Once innovative and dynamic cities have fallen behind as overall economic growth has slowed. And the best technological innovation jobs that we have today are concentrated disproportionately in a small number of superstar cities primarily on the east and west coasts: Boston, New York, Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

What went wrong? Policymakers forgot one of the most important lessons of the post-1945 period: research and development drives productivity, which in turn leads to better jobs and higher incomes. Modern private enterprise is most effective when government provides strong underlying support for basic science and for the commercialization of inventions. Government support for science can create an economic tide that lifts all boats. We are both strong supporters of private enterprise, but firms are interested in innovation only to the extent that it improves their own bottom line – and not if creating new ideas and products leads to benefits for someone else. However, spillovers from discovery are incredibly important, creating both basic scientific knowledge and the more applied ideas that help determine how fast our economy can grow. The innovation that led to rapid growth after World War II was the direct result of a fruitful partnership between the private sector, federal government, and universities that allowed us to generate and benefit from these spillovers as a country. Public spending on research and development peaked at nearly 2 percent of our entire economy in 1964. Federal support for R&D today amounts to only 0.7 percent of GDP. Lower public investment in science has contributed to the slowdown in productivity growth. Across almost every dimension of technology today, America faces the imminent prospect of falling behind other nations. It’s time for the U.S. to boost its leadership role for science. To do so we should recognize a fact that may be uncomfortable for some.

More government spending on R&D will not fly politically if it all goes to the existing technology hubs of today. People in the rest of the country increasingly – and correctly – feel that they are being left behind. This is unfortunate because there is so much talent in all corners of our country. We have identified more than 100 urban communities that are plausible next-generation tech hubs, all with large populations, highly educated workforces, and a low cost of living. These communities are home to over 80 million Americans in 36 states, across all regions of the country. Despite their potential, these communities lag behind the coastal superstar cities. The problem is what is known in the jargon as agglomeration – meaning simply that in today’s high tech economy, skilled employees earn the highest wages where there are other skilled people already working. When Amazon announced its intention to build a HQ2 somewhere in North America, 238 cities responded with incentives, yet the winning bidders were two of the most economically successful places in recent decades. The private sector, left to its own devices, will not close the income and opportunity gaps in America. In contrast, geographically-concentrated federal investments can be truly transformative, attracting companies and helping to generate more local private sector employment. Rochester, the top ranked city on our list of potential technology hubs is a great example. There is a burgeoning optics and photonics industry in the city, building on the historical strengths of local industry in this area, the highly skilled population, and the strong educational institutions that train scientists and engineers. This industry has been supported by federal and state grants and there are a number of exciting new startups in the area. Meanwhile, Rochester maintains a cost of living which is much lower than the coastal mega-cities.

But for Rochester to truly compete with the superstar cities, it needs more. It needs a massive boost in research funding to ensure that the city becomes the optics and photonics capital of the world – and then can build from there to become a broader technology hub as businesses in related industries, such as medical devices, settle in the city. And it needs a vibrant venture capital sector which will provide funding for startups to grow into the Kodaks of tomorrow. The federal government can provide this kind of jump-start to Rochester and places like it. Scaled-up and deployed strategically across most states, we estimate that an investment of $100 billion per year in public research and development could help create 4 million good new jobs. Cities and alliances of smaller urban areas should bid in an Amazon-style competition – but without the tax breaks – to show that they can become an effective home for tech development, with the right mix of available real estate and local private sector commitment. Potential hubs should also aim to increase the supply of skilled workers by making higher education more affordable, by providing appropriate practical and technical training, and by linking to locally available employment opportunities that pay good wages. Around the world, including in China, government-supported research initiatives are helping to create the technologies of tomorrow, along with jobs that will pay well far into the future. Our competitors have studied post-1945 American history carefully and are applying the lessons in a way that works for the modern global economy. We should do the same. It’s time to jump-start the growth engine for all Americans. Rochester can, once again, lead the way.

Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson are professors at MIT, in the Economics Department and Sloan School of Management, respectively. They are co-authors of Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream. (https://www.jumpstartingamerica.com)

CLIMB is a yearlong leadership development program that brings together the most talented young members of the Rochester/Finger Lakes business community to learn and grow together, making connections and acquiring insight that will help them ascend to new heights of leadership and success within their organizations and community. Program Components: Experiential Learning - Through an in-depth exploration of the Rochester/Finger Lakes economy, including intimate conversations with star CEOs and executive teams, participants learn strategies that fuel the success of these organizations, and better understand the opportunities and challenges in the regional and global marketplace. Participants are also joined by community and political leaders to discuss crucial issues facing this region. Personalized Leadership Development - Participants receive yearlong personalized leadership development training from Andrew Brady of The XLR8 Team, focusing on the internal foundation and emotional intelligence that allows great leaders to motivate and inspire. One-on-One Executive Mentoring - Participants will be matched with an executive from the business community, forming a partnership designed to explore specific leadership challenges and foster a two-way dialogue between seasoned and emerging leaders in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region. Upon successful completion of the program, CLIMB graduates are asked to join the Future Leaders’ Advisory Council (FLAC). Members are afforded opportunities to make a difference on issues like equity, education, health care, economic development, and talent strategy – and to provide key insight to Rochester Chamber leadership.

Are you ready to CLIMB? The Rochester Chamber CLIMB program accepts the best and brightest young leaders (age 21 - 40) from the business community, who would benefit from an enhanced network and valuable resources within the Rochester/Finger Lakes region, and who could contribute to Rochester Chamber as a voice of progress and young leadership.

Learn more here.

What Rochester Could Learn from the Nation’s Fastest Improving School Systems


By: David Osborne, PPI


very time I talk to someone from Rochester about their schools, they tell me their school district is the worst in the nation. That may be an exaggeration, but perhaps it’s time to learn from the nation’s fastest improving cities. The most rapid improvement over the past decade has come in New Orleans, where all but a handful of public schools have been converted to charter schools. Charters are public schools operated independently of the district, with freedom from many state and district rules but accountability for performance. If their children are not learning, they are supposed to be closed or replaced by a stronger operator. Like Rochester, New Orleans has intense poverty: 83 percent of its public school students are low-income, and 91 percent are students of color. Yet on two key measures—graduation and college-going rates—New Orleans is the first high-poverty city to outperform its state. The next city to visit would be Washington, D.C., which has improved faster than every state and all 20 other big cities that have taken the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for several cycles. Two decades ago Congress created a Public Charter School Board, and today its 123 schools educate 47 percent of public school students in the city. Competition from charters helped convince the city council to give the mayor control of the district, which led to profound reforms that have produced rapid improvement in the traditional schools. Yet charters, which get about $6,000 less per pupil every year, perform better on almost every measure. In schools full of poor, African American kids, the difference is dramatic.

David Osborne Author of Reinventing America’s Schools: Creating a 21st Century Education System and Director of the Education Project at the Progressive Policy Institute

Back in 2005 Denver was making the slowest progress of Colorado’s 20 largest districts, but since 2012 it has been the fastest improving. What made the difference? A decade ago the superintendent and elected school board embraced charters, giving them district buildings and almost equal funding. They encouraged collaboration, while also emulating charters by giving many district schools more autonomy. The majority of public schools are now charters or these “innovation schools.” All three cities have several things in common, besides widespread poverty. All have made chartering a core strategy, and all have seen significant collaboration between charters and traditional schools, including sharing of school buildings. To make it easier for parents and ensure that every family has an equal shot at the best schools, they also adopted one computerized enrollment system for all their public schools, whether charter or traditional. The usual argument against more charters is that they drain money from the district. But we appropriate the money to educate students, and charters give those who need it access to better schools. It’s time to start collaborating to do what’s best for the kids.

Leadership for Managers Hands-on tours + behind-the-scenes experiences JUL. 23 • GreenSpark Solar TBD • YMCA Pittsford

Topical expertise to help you keep your edge

This program presents the practical concepts, strategies, and skills needed to enhance a leader’s performance. JUN. 7, 14, 21 & 28

3 - Part Leadership Series JUN. 11 • Breaking the Barriers to Progress SEPT. 19 • Leading With Your Heart OCT. 8 • Becoming an Empowering Leader

Make a difference! OCT. 2 • Seneca Park Zoo Ongoing event • Pencils & Paper Drive

A relaxed, casual atmosphere at fun + exciting venues JUL. 17 • Iron Smoke Whiskey DEC. TBD • Holiday Soiree

Empowering young professionals + community action JUN. 13 • Re:Generation: Empowering Rochester’s Future Leaders & IGNITE Award Celebration

Timely information on today’s hottest topics NOV. 21 • The ROI of Business Investment in Healthier Communities

An open, interactive discussion with top executives JUN. 26 • Women In Politics AUG. 6 • Social Media SEPT. 10 • Higher Education

Informed analysis and management of essential legal issues JUN. 27 • #AreYouCovered? Insurance for Today’s Social Media Risks NOV. 12 • Wage and Hour Pitfalls: What NY Businesses Need to Know More Details to Follow • SEPT. 26, OCT. 16

Addressing key areas of business concern with state, local + federal influencers SEPT. 5 • Featuring Thomas P. DiNapoli

Click here to register for Rochester Chamber events.

17 A F F I L I AT E E V E N T S Associated New York State Food Processors Food Processors Annual Golf Championship and Dinner June 10 https://nyfoodprocessors.org/events

Rochester Women’s Council Strength in Numbers: Discover Your Purpose June 13 bit.ly/ROCWomen

Greater Rochester Quality Council GRQC Networking at Richardson’s Canal House August 8 bit.ly/GRQC080819

Small Business Council Small Business Council Headliner Event June 6 bit.ly/SBC060619

Rochester Hispanic Business Association RHBA Business Lunch with Bera Jurado June 18 bit.ly/RHBA061819

Summer Social at Oak Hill July 25 bit.ly/SBC072519

Thursday, June 13, 2019 5:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Arbor at the Port Keynote Speaker: Ithaca’s Mayor Svante Myrick Presentation of the IGNITE Future Leader’s Award Music, Food, Fun, & More

Registration & Vendor Tables Available Now! Click here to learn more.


Website ACCESSIBILITY Addressing Legal Concerns Around Compliance


reater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Disability Rights (CDR) have partnered to raise awareness of a recent rash of lawsuits targeting businesses over accessibility of their websites. These actions, brought by a small number of plaintiffs in the New York City area, have recently focused on wineries and other small businesses, seeking five-figure settlements without regard to addressing the larger issue of educating the public about accessibility compliance. CDR President and CEO Bruce Darling said, “The Center for Disability Rights is committed to making our communities more accessible and inclusive, and to enforcing Disability Rights laws. However, we do not support disingenuous lawsuits alleging inaccessibility which result in settlements that do not address the underlying accessibility issues. We are proud to work with Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce to educate businesses about accessibility and to help businesses to become compliant.” Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides that “no individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.” The definition of “discrimination” under the statute incorporates a requirement that reasonable accommodations and auxiliary aids or services be provided to individuals with disabilities.

Nixon Peabody LLP attorneys in Rochester and across its other offices have assisted clients in responding to demand letters and litigation related to alleged ADA and state law violations of website accessibility. The law firm formulates responses based on a client’s specific circumstances and applicable defenses. Nixon Peabody Counsel Todd Shinaman said, “While the ADA does not expressly define a commercial website as a place of public accommodation, numerous courts have held that a website is a place of public accommodation because websites provide the public access to a company’s goods or services. While some courts have held that Title III’s accessibility requirements do not apply to websites that have no nexus to a physical place of accommodation, such as a brick and mortar store, several federal district courts in the Second Circuit, which includes New York, have refused to dismiss Title III cases on that basis.”

Fox Run Vineyards added an accessibility statement and started to make compliance changes to its website when owners first learned about ADA-related lawsuits in November 2018. In February of this year, a lawsuit was brought against Fox Run for non-compliance. Fox Run Vineyards President and Co-owner Scott Osborn said, “We should educate when we regulate. A lawsuit is the wrong way to go about it. In my opinion, before suing my company, I believe I should have been sent a letter describing in detail all the ways my site was not in compliance and instructions on how to get my site functional. That would have been the fair and proper thing to do and would have caused us to act. We are now working on a brand-new website and hope to be compliant soon.” Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is working with the Center for Disability Rights, the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, and other advocacy partners to combat abusive ADA lawsuits while also educating business owners about the importance of website compliance and informing lawmakers about the lack of clarity in the law. Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York Public Affairs Manager Adam Morey said, “This important civil rights law, meant to ensure access for all, is being exploited by predatory lawyers to generate fees. All that money wasted on court costs and attorney’s fees would be better spent upgrading websites and finalizing industry standards. There needs to be clear guidelines for how the ADA applies to the Internet. As it stands now, businesses and nonprofit institutions of all sizes can be sued without any real notice of how they are supposed to comply with the law. It is time for public officials to clarify how the law applies to the Internet and guide businesses to compliance.” Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said, “Rochester Chamber believes that education and information go further than threats and intimidation in ensuring website access for the visually impaired and others with disabilities. Efforts should be directed toward resolving the underlying barriers to access rather than looking to make a quick buck. We encourage businesses to check the accessibility of their websites and make appropriate changes if necessary. If a business finds itself the target of a lawsuit, we recommend seeking legal counsel rather than rushing to settle. Rochester Chamber is working with its counterparts to advocate fair and effective ways to promote accessible websites while not costing small businesses tens of thousands of dollars in settlements and legal fees.” Businesses with questions about website ADA accessibility may contact the Center for Disability Rights at www.cdrnys.org or their website designers. Those who wish to join Rochester Chamber advocacy efforts may contact Marc Cohen at Marc.Cohen@GreaterRochesterChamber.com.

Rochester Chamber Member Celebration March 13, 2019

KitchenAid Senior PGA Media Tour March 26, 2019

CannaBusiness: Capitalizing on the Cannabis Economy

May 16, 2019 Full recap: bit.ly/CannaBusinessRecap

eHealth Technologies Ribbon Cutting March 14, 2019


1886 Malt House Visit April 5, 2019

Assured Edge Visit April 11, 2019

Three Brothers Wineries Visit April 11, 2019

St. Ann’s Ribbon Cutting May 5, 2019

United Way Day of Caring May 9, 2019

Achieving More With Less: Business Performance and Sustainability Guest Essay by Chander Sharma, Founder & Managing Partner, BizXL Solutions


hanging demographics, powerful computing, widespread connectivity, pervasive cloud functionality and new business models are creating a global connected economy. It’s complex and challenging for business leaders to understand and assess the impact of all these changes on their business and to ensure relevance and sustainability.

“Only 15% of today’s leaders are self disruptors” - Korn Ferry We know of many well-established organizations such as Borders, Sears, Blackberry and Blockbuster which perished due to the inability to understand and respond to the changing customer preferences and demographics with speed. Organizations with the philosophy, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may be moving towards stagnation and decline. Even though executives recognize the importance of adapting to the changing landscape they struggle to make it happen. The two fundamental challenges that are faced by executives are: A. Organizations are structured to deliver on specific customer needs with a defined business model. Therefore, running the business and transforming the business becomes complex. B. Inability to break down silos to unleash multi-disciplinary collaboration for innovation Any existing organization wanting to ensure relevance over a longer term will benefit by: A. Creating a learning organization with a focus on understanding the customer needs and wants. Encouraging employees to understand customer/ user experience at every touch point across the end to end customer journeys. B. Designing organizational structure and metrics for innovation. Agile, matrix based organization helps employees learn and contribute across organizational needs. Encourage and reward employees demonstrating collaboration. C. Ensure strong alignment between business operations, product/ service design and technology functional silos across geographies D. Hiring people with multifunctional and multicultural backgrounds with a growth mindset. Organizations with a mindset of “we have always done it this way” should open up to building a culture of finding newer and better ways of creating and delivering value.

To see Chander’s presentation at our April 3, 2019 biz.exchange “360 Sustainability” event, click here.

E. Embrace experimentation for learning by doing with a focus on “What if (it works)”. Progressive organizations are ready to experiment and learn by doing. Research shows that many ideas with potential get killed at the first expression as they are not aligned with the conventional thinking. Staying with such ideas and developing them through experimentation, prototyping and refining loops can sprout disruptive innovation. BizXL Solutions conducted research of well-established organizations that failed and organizations that were on the verge of bankruptcy but catapulted into strong organization. The focus of this research was to identify elements for creating a sustainable organization and create a Total Business Excellence (TBE ™) model. Key elements of the Total Business Excellence (TBE ™) model are: A. Customer/ User focus B. Leadership and Employee alignment C. Product/ Service innovation D. Channel Design E. Optimization and continuous improvement Developing digital capability to harness a deeper understanding of end to end customer experiences is critical. An outside-in focus with leadership committed to developing knowledge, capabilities and capacity for the evolving customer needs is a foundation for a sustainable organization. The customer insights are harnessed into products and services by iterative experimentation and building a culture of operational excellence and continuous improvement. To know more about how to improve business performance and achieve sustainability, visit https://www.bizxlsolutions.com or email Chander Sharma at chanders@bizxlsolutions.com.

23 getting to know rochester chamber


alicia memmott Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce receptionist Alicia Memmott recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with the organization. The Voice of Business caught up with Alicia to talk about her wide-ranging career and how she earned the nickname “El Jefe”.

VOB Tell us about the career journey that brought you to Rochester Chamber. Alicia I graduated from SUNY Oswego with a criminal justice degree and worked in the federal court system. I then became a paralegal at a law firm. I stayed home for 15 years after having children. I then went back into the workforce as a salon manager, then became a real estate agent, and then decided to take a receptionist position. I absolutely love it. It is the best job I have ever had.

VOB What are your interests outside of work? Alicia I have three children who are mostly grown. I follow their sporting events. I have two dogs. I also like to support local businesses and give the economy a boost through shopping and going out to dinner.

Alicia Memmott Receptionist 585.244.1800 • Alicia.Memmott@GreaterRochesterChamber.com

Alicia Our CEO, Bob Duffy, coined that name. He says that I run a tight ship at the front desk and that I’m the chief. Chief in Spanish is El Jefe, so it stuck. If Bob says I’m the chief, I find that very complimentary.

Alicia Answering the phone and greeting people who come in. Many of them are here looking for jobs through our RBA Staffing division. I also greet visiting CEOs and CFOs and presidents of colleges. One of the things I like most is the broad spectrum of different people. I also do some administrative support for the events and membership departments. For workforce development, I help administer the forklift training program. Anything that anyone needs help with, they come to me for extra support.

VOB As Rochester Chamber receptionist, you’re also known as the “Director of First Impressions” and “El Jefe”. How did you get that nickname?

VOB You’re a little over one year into the job now. What are some of your day-to-day duties?

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CALL FOR SPONSORS 9.12.19 • #RTC19 We are very excited to announce that Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce has again partnered with Innovative to host the ROC Tech Conference. The goal is to increase awareness of this area’s technology commitment, bring together a diverse group of businesses and organizations, retain top talent in our region, and educate our community.

thursday, september 12, 2019 • 8:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M. rochester riverside convention center Visit www.roctechconference.com for more information, or contact Susan George at Susan.George@GreaterRochesterChamber.com

Profile for Rochester Chamber

Voice of Business - Summer 2019  

The premier publication of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region. Jump-starting #ROC - Human Resources...

Voice of Business - Summer 2019  

The premier publication of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region. Jump-starting #ROC - Human Resources...